Earlier this year, we teamed up with Porirua City Council (PCC) and three schools to connect career role models with ākonga in Porirua. Corinna School, Plimmerton School and Postgate School each ran an Inspiring the Future event in May with local volunteer role models, including the Mayor of Porirua City, Anita Baker.
Other role models at the events came from a wide range of jobs. They included an epidemiologist, an arborist, an international tax advisor, a Māori researcher, a builder/carpenter and a freelance photographer – see the full list at the bottom of this page.
The council, schools and role models shared their insights on the events.
Porirua City Council – why did you decide to encourage schools to run these Inspiring the Future events?
PCC: We love the programme and see it as of huge benefit to our rangatahi in Porirua. We would love to see this programme grow and become self-sustaining.
Schools – why did you decide to run an Inspiring the Future event?
Corinna School: Our motivation was to support our tamariki to learn about the many, many options available to them in terms of employment/career options and to be inspired to keep learning, take risks, and find areas they are interested in and passionate about.
Plimmerton School: They are an incredibly fun and engaging way for tamariki to learn more about future career opportunities. The sessions are well planned out and flexible, and communication is great with the participants. We decided to use this programme as a unique way to engage with local people and to expose our learners to careers they never knew existed or didn't think may be possible for them.
How did the kids find the event overall?
Corinna School: Students enjoyed the event and hearing people's stories and journeys especially. Their highlight was talking to role models in small groups during the second part of the event. They also enjoyed trying to guess role models’ jobs, and after the event they reflected on asking more effective questions and listening to previous questions and the answers.
Plimmerton School: They loved it! There was energy in the classrooms for days afterwards. They enjoyed the process, and the surprise elements of dress-up at the end were awesome!
How did the teachers find the event overall?
Corinna School: Teachers also enjoyed the event and thought that it added positively to the classroom and school programme. The teachers successfully supported students to get as much learning from the event as possible, and make connections to class learning and the building of student identity and self-esteem.
Plimmerton School: Teachers also loved it! They were engaged and probably had just as much fun as the kids!
Do you think having role models from the same community as the students was beneficial to them?
Corinna School: Absolutely! Our children need to see themselves and not think their choices are limited by who they are or where they come from.
Plimmerton School: Yes very much so. As they were local it meant they were 'real people' to our students and means we can possibly form a relationship with them in the future. They also understand our community and area so could frame any answers to suit our community.
What did you think was the best part of the event?
Corinna School: Our students having the opportunity to meet a wide range of people from different backgrounds and hear their stories.
Plimmerton School: The questions, the drama and suspense and the sessions at the end!
Role models – how did you find the event?
Sandra Rogers, Senior Advisor Organisational Development at Porirua City Council: It was an awesome opportunity to spend time with loads of students who had all sorts of thoughts and dreams for their futures. I loved being able to spark an interest in my profession but also to answer lots of really great questions about working in general. You quickly realise that just like everyone else, they don’t know what they don’t know! It felt great to be able to join some dots and be a part of their learning journey and future thinking!
I would strongly recommend to anyone to become a role model, you don’t need to be the CE or Manager or Senior Advisor – these young people just need to meet and hear from a really broad range of people in all sorts of different professions to open their minds to the possibilities, and every profession and role is a potential future for these students!
Anita Baker, Mayor of Porirua City: It was a privilege to attend the Inspiring the Future event at Corinna School here in Porirua in May. The engagement and input from the pupils was outstanding, giving them the opportunity to talk about careers and jobs in a relaxed setting – the questions they came up with were thoughtful and fun, and I really enjoyed the morning.
- Operations Engineer Water
- National Business Development Manager
- Marketing Specialist
- Māori Researcher
- Freelance Photographer
- Director of a software company
- PCC Mayor
- Team Manager
- Organisational Development Advisor
- International Tax Advisor
- Co-Chief Executive Officer.