You Are Conference by KingsWay School

You Are - Hibiscus Coast

The ‘You Are’ Hibiscus Coast, three day conference held in July, marked the seventh year of working with teenage girls to empower and equip them to discover their God given potential.

A charitable trust since 2012, the work of You Are now impacts girls not only in the Hibiscus Coast but now in Hamilton, Whakatane, Hastings, Gisborne and the team work with agencies such as the New Zealand Police. Founder and Operations Director, Vanessa Gatman has a strong team of volunteers who work in a range of career contexts. They are passionate about helping young girls to capture the truth of Gods' plan and purpose for their life rather than succumbing to worldly pressures that often leave them feeling ‘not good enough.’ 

This year eleven young women were on the speaking team and sixteen schools from the wider Auckland area were represented amongst the participants. 

A crucial part of the You Are work is the mentorship programme. This offers an opportunity for girls in Years 11 to University age to work closely with and mentor a small group of girls over the three days. They help their group of girls to unpack and connect with what they hear from the conference speakers, share their own journeys, and encourage the girls to take risks and say ‘yes’ to the challenges presented throughout conference and, of course, to have fun with them. 

Mentors attend training and learn about developing their communication skills, presenting themselves confidently, working as part of a team to achieve a God given vision and being servant leaders. Year 11 students enter the mentorship programme as trainee mentors and work alongside an older girl to gain confidence before mentoring on their own in Year 12. 

This year, 27 girls mentored and amongst that group, KingsWay School had 14 students step forward to be a mentor. 
Trainee mentors: Molly Sharp, Angela Oh, Emily Skaggs, Emma Shepherd, Dana Rutherford; Mentors: Lily Gatman, Lydia Chhour, Ruve Smuts, MiRae Han, Zoe Lund, Sabrina Delgado, Elliette Dean, Sophie Millikin, Maisie Dunning. 

Thank you to these girls who bravely put themselves forward to be positive influencers in our community. 

Vanessa Gatman
Founder and Operations Director of You Are