Dale Carnegie scholarship winners celebrated

The scholarship winners. Supplied photo.

Twenty-three students from schools across the Western Bay of Plenty are in high spirits after receiving their graduation certificates for completing the 2021 Acorn Foundation Dale Carnegie Youth Programme.

Acorn’s generous local donors, the late Mary and Roy McGowan, have been funding these scholarships since 2010.

“Thanks to this fantastic support from Roy and Mary McGowan, over the years more than 270 local students have had access to a youth version of a course that millions of people around the world have taken to learn skills for success in their professional and personal lives”, says Acorn Foundation CEO, Lori Luke.

This year’s scholarship winners were all Year 13 students from 11 Western Bay of Plenty schools.

The three-day course teaches the Dale Carnegie 5 drivers of success: building greater self-confidence; strengthening people skills; enhancing communication skills; developing leadership skills; and reducing stress and worry.

Acorn Foundation, Dale Carnegie BOP Waikato, and Priority One’s InStep programme have long partnered to offer this youth-focussed course which provides methods to help young people improve both their self-confidence and personal communication techniques as they prepare to finish school.

During the graduation ceremony, each of the students stood up in front of an audience and gave a short speech about what they had learned – a feat that many remarked they would never have attempted to do prior to attending the course.

One of the scholarship winners, 17-year-old Ben Jones from Papamoa College, says: “I’ve changed so much for the better. Before the course, I wouldn’t ever know what to say in conversations, but now I’m able to have a good conversation with people, and I can get up in front of people and not have any nerves.

“The value is almost immeasurable. I’m planning on doing a Bachelor of Science at University of Waikato, and I know now that anyone you meet you can turn into a friend. It’s been amazing.”

The winners are:

ACG Tauranga: Changlu Guo and Hugo McCarthy

Aquinas College: Christie Vergeest and Tom McCarroll

Bethlehem College: Anabel Louie, Wendy Zhao and Brianna Shaw

Katikati College: Gemini Matagani and Oliver Griffiths

Mt Maunganui College: Jacob Capes and Bri Carling

Otumoetai College: Katie Andrew and Siddartha Gurung

Papamoa College: Eva Trlin and Ben Jones

Tauranga Boys’ College: Jedodiah Mathieson and Jarod Van Der Merwe

Tauranga Girls’ College: Gabe Adams and Olivia Simmonds

Te Puke High School: Ciara Sunnex and Murphy Bruning

Te Whare Kura O Mauao: WeraWera Nooroa and Dom Angell

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