Wednesday, July 22, 2009

YMCA – Raise Up and Represent

When you look back on your time as a teen, you realize some people made all the difference. Most kids and their parents do it tough on some level, and without self-esteem and inspiration it’s too easy for young people to head down a dangerous path. We need someone, anyone, to believe in us. This is one reason why I provide support to programs for at-risk youth. Adolescent funding and mentorship never mattered more. TYLA – the Turn Yourself Around Trust – which originated in West Auckland, New Zealand, is the focus of my support.

Another community organization putting a wave under youth in New Zealand is the YMCA. It’s been a vigorous presence since 1855, building mind, body and spirit in young people through physical and outdoor education, personal safety programs, and community work. In Auckland the YMCA youth development program called Raise Up and Represent has been lighting a fire. The project aims to give a safe and healthy environment for kids to relax, socialize and foster a sense of pride and respect for themselves, and the communities in which they live.

An upcoming Raise Up Auckland event is their inaugural CBD-Connect performance to the public as part of a fundraiser on Friday 21 August at the Rendezvous Hotel starting 7pm. This is a signature example of young lives on the rise. Youth organize, market, run and perform their own entertaining event, and ask companies to back them by buying tickets. The reciprocation fits well with the role of business – to make the world a better place for everyone. I’m honored to be a guest speaker and will be talking about seizing opportunities in a tough financial climate.

The kids, in the 15-year age range, are unbelievable performers. Deane Siakimotu will emcee the evening and choreographer Ashleigh MacKinven (17) has created two special dances with the group Sample. There will be music performances by Sam Hollingum and Grace, and a poetry recital by Courtney Meredith, a Montana Award winning ‘slam poet’. To cap off the evening, there will be a performance by multi-talented soul singer and jazz musician Tama Waipara. If you’re in the zone for this, make sure to show your support and book in a table. Inspiration-out has a direct relationship for inspiration-in.

For more info and reservations contact Michelle Delahunty at the YMCA, email or phone 09 306 3750. Hope to see you there!