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2021 looks bright for 30 local Rangatahi

30 local rangatahi aged 14-18 who were disengaged from school have graduated from the Oho Mauri Transitions Programme and are now armed with skills to confidently transition into further education, training and employment in 2021.

This collective was made up of 10 Huntly College girls, and 20 students from Ngaruawahia High School.

Leah Crawford, Oho Mauri Co-Founder says “Our rangatahi would have faced many challenges trying to gain the right skills and qualifications to enter the workforce without having experienced the journey of the Oho Mauri Transition Programme”.

“The reality for some of our rangatahi is that difficult life and family circumstances, poor choices, or addiction to drugs and alcohol can put them out of step and in the wrong direction, where poor lifestyle choices are made. As a result, feel negative self-worth and are more likely to be disengaged, unemployed, involved in crime and have poor health outcomes,” says Leah.

The first programme was piloted with 11 students from Huntly College, now these students in the second intake have produced some impactful outcomes for Huntly College and their whaanau.

“Pilot programme graduate Perry-Lee Aratangi, a true success story, has since taken up full time employment in an Engineering firm in Napier. He also won the Prime Minister’s Vocational Excellence Award which celebrates the achievements of secondary students across Aotearoa enrolled in vocational programmes.

Our 10-week Oho Mauri Transitions programme has given our rangatahi the foundational skills to set them up beyond leaving school” says Lizana Tuake, Co-Founder Oho Mauri. Huntly College Principal Barbara Cavanagh says "Oho Mauri is a programme that is doing for students what schools to date have not been able to do - that is get students work ready and into jobs.

Oho Mauri has created valuable partnerships that are supporting our students. I am full of admiration for the team and their ability to always ensure that our students who are slipping through the cracks at school are given an opportunity that sets them up for life.

I am adamant that this is a programme that should be rolled out into every school in Aotearoa”. Ngaruawahia High School Principal, Chris Jarnet says “It was pleasing to see the number of organisations who have supported the programme speaking positively about the students' achievements and the work ready skills they have now developed. Future pathways have been established and students are now ready to take the next step in their educational journey”.

“Oho Mauri would like to acknowledge and thank our valued partners and sponsors, Ministry of Social Development, Ministry Business Innovation and Employment, Ministry of Education, Schick Civil Construction and graduation sponsor Trust Waikato, D.V. Bryant Trust and Rusty Garden Art for their ongoing commitment and support to our kaupapa.

We look forward to seeing what the future holds for our next cohort. Mauri ora ki a taatou” says Lizana.

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