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Foundation North funding helps grow the Future Leaders of Te Tai Tokerau

16 March 2021   /   News & reports

Funding from Foundation North is helping rangatahi in Te Tai Tokerau develop into tomorrow’s leaders through the Future Leaders programme.

Future Leaders is an Inspiring Stories initiative which supports young people in rural and provincial New Zealand to explore the big issues that affect their future, build their entrepreneurship and leadership skills, and make a difference in their backyard. Future Leaders is a free, accessible, and inclusive programme that provides life-enhancing opportunities for a diverse range of rangatahi aged 16–25 and who are often majority Māori, and female. Young people who have been on the Future Leaders programme have reported significant improvements across a range of outcome areas – they are better connected to a community of support, more confident, more optimistic about the future, more resilient, and have built future-relevant skills including communication skills, entrepreneurship, leadership, problem solving and teamwork.

Foundation North has funded the Future Leaders programme for rangatahi in Kaikohe and Whangarei since 2018. Bridget Cassie, the Future Leaders Programme Manager says that this funding has enabled young people to engage with role models in their community, be the leaders they want to be, and get a better understanding and connection to the communities they live in.

“The Foundation North grant has enabled us to support rangatahi in Te Tai Tokerau to achieve their personal goals, build lifelong connections with like-minded people, and make a positive impact in their community through community service projects,” says Bridget.

Guy Ryan, Founder & CEO of Inspiring Stories says that the support from Foundation North is critical in helping to increase access to life-changing opportunities for more rangatahi to take part in the Future Leaders programme in Te Tai Tokerau.

“We've seen rangatahi go from having lived homeless to leading advocacy for housing solutions; from having never been on an aeroplane in their lives to speaking on stage at Festival for the Future and then on to win the Prime Minister's Youth Award,” says Guy. “We have seen hundreds of rangatahi become much more actively engaged, self-confident, and demonstrate real leadership to make a difference in their communities. Thanks to Foundation North, we can build on this momentum."

Inspiring Stories is a social enterprise with a bold vision to see young New Zealanders unleash their potential to change the world. The Future Leaders programme is Inspiring Stories’ key regional initiative. To learn more about the work of the Future Leaders programme please visit: