Youth build self-confidence and leadership at Good 2 Great workshop

By Leah Te Whata

More than 60 teens and young adults gathered in Auckland this week for the Good To Great youth development workshop, navigating what they've identified as the biggest challenges in their lives.

Slam poetry sensation Jai Selkirk says "It's stuff like these that gave me the confidence to talk in front of people, we'll be in a group of 10 or so and you don't want to share in front of them but then afterwards you want to share everything you write, you want to have a word in everything and it just helps you to do stuff like that."

Singer and Good To Great ambassador Stan Walker says, "I've just seen so many different groups of rangatahi and the different effects and just seeing them joyous and come out of their bubbles and their shells.

Youthline's The State of the Generation research report identified stress as being the most significant issue facing Kiwis aged between 16 and 24. Selkirk says that workshops like Good To Great have been a key part of his own personal development.

"It actually is really helpful they give lessons about life, and to have someone like Stan Walker here to bring in a crowd of young people who would probably never come to this thing, it's cool learning off someone you idolise."

The Youthline research also showed that the largest barrier to seeking help is an embarrassment, with young people more likely to source information and help online first. Singer Stan Walker says that youth often look to their peers for support.

Walker says, "It's actually quite amazing and encouraging and almost like a boot up the bum for myself when I see other rangatahi support and connect to other rangatahi."

The workshops are a Youthline initiative, funded by Coca-Cola. Coca-Cola's Country Manager Sandhya Pillay says that now is a critical time for businesses to collaborate with NGO's and change agencies to address social issues.