Okaihau student off to Silicon Valley

By Dean Nathan
  • Auckland

Carym Wharerau, a student at Okaihau College in the Far North, will get the opportunity to immerse himself in the world of top technology companies when he meets with business leaders at Silicon Valley in America. 

Wharerau is now counting the days before he meets with business leaders from Facebook, Apple, and Microsoft.

“Since I was little I've liked watching Disney movies and stuff I've always wanted to be an animator and do like drawing and animation and doodling and stuff. Being able to put what I see it and making it available for everyone else to see and like.  I suppose sharing my creativity.”

This week, Wharerau leaves Okaihau on his first overseas trip to Silicon Valley in California for a week-long experience organised through a partnership between the Moko Foundation and Kiwi business leader Andrew Patterson.

Deidre Otene from the Moko Foundation says, “We need to increase employment and the economics within Taitokerau and we believe through information technology and connections across the globe we can do that. We want to see more of our young people following in the footsteps of Carym, so that's what’s important for us.”

Wharerau is one of four students chosen from a nationwide IT competition on Facebook. It provides opportunities for high achievers from lower decile schools to immerse themselves in a technological world that will inspire and motivate them as innovative business leaders of tomorrow.

Wharerau says, “What I'm looking forward to most when I get over there is, seeing what has become at Silicon Valley, because that's like one of the most the biggest influences over technology that place.  I want to see what makes it happen. But I don't want to be too specific or do something just in case I find something else in life.  I want to see what else is out there.”

He is seen as a trailblazer for his kin to follow.