Project K is a youth development programme run at Hornby High School by The Graeme Dingle Foundation.
Year 10 students Donovan Brown, Ruth Espie, Joseph Fraser, Aurora Gray, Megan Hepple, Montana Jamieson, Jamie McKay, Caleb Nieuwenhuize, Chloe Rolton, Noah Sefo, Samuel Weir and Alyssa Wright were selected for this year’s programme.
The programme comprises a three-week Wilderness Adventure which sees the students, accompanied by experienced wilderness guides, cycle and hike from the central South Island back to school undertaking activities such as abseiling and river crossings along the way. Following this, the students take part in a Community Challenge where they learn about their local community and undertake a volunteer project; this year’s cohort chose to plant native plants at Willowbank Wildlife Reserve.
The final part of the programme is a 12-month mentoring partnership during which the students are paired with trained mentors. The students set goals, with the assistance of their mentors, and have also taken part in fun group activities such as trampolining at Mega Air, laser tag, an Amazing Race style-activity through central Christchurch and a fundraising BBQ at school.
Last year’s Project K cohort also graduated in June and were lucky enough to have Matai'a Salatielu Tiatia ‘Sala’, a Survivor NZ contestant, speak at the graduation ceremony. Congratulations to CJ McNabb-Byrnes, Julia Conklin, Tyler Ford, Jack Ingram, Emma Jeffery, Rania Kaskar, Jenna Kelly, Ivan Malpaya, Heremaia Manihera, Zakara Waho and Joesph Wright for graduating the programme. Special congratulations also go to Emma Jeffery, who was awarded the Excellence Award for 2017 and attended an award ceremony at Government House in Auckland, and to Ivan Malpaya, who has been selected to join the National Youth Advisory Group and will attend a hui in Auckland in December.