A number of The Rising Foundation students who have recently visited Hillary House have overcome numerous obstacles to get to where they are today.
Jackson Wilcox started the programme as a Year 8 student. He always achieved really well academically and musically, participating in Tangata Pasifika Beats and the National Ukulele Squad, but still had a longing within himself for his character to grow. A real turning point for Jackson has been self-discovery and confirmation of who he is as a person. This has given him a stronger, more positive relationship with his family and his peers, leading him to become one of the Head Boys at Pukekohe High School.
Saia Tai was another student visitor to Hillary House. At the Rising Foundation meetings he rarely spoke and was afraid people would judge him about his way of thinking, as he was mature compared to other students. Saia discovered a new passion for science, which he found hard to share at first. Today he is the Cultural Prefect at Pukekohe High School. His ongoing involvement in the programme has transformed him to become, ‘one of our most lively, spirited individuals to whom peers look for advice and guidance’, says Co-ordinator of the Rising Foundation programme, Feleti Lotulelei.
‘How true is the statement… it takes a village to raise a child’, continues Feleti. ‘Our students are fortunate to receive additional support and opportunities from great organisations, especially those that have arisen from Sir Edmund Hillary and his legacy. Whether it is from Hillary House Leadership Centre Trust accommodating our Rising Foundation meetings and talking leadership with our students, our camps at the Hillary Outdoors Education Centre in Tongariro, or seeing one of our students, Mele Fetu’u, selected for the Inspiring Explorers trip to Argentina and Antarctica with the Antarctic Heritage Trust.’
Hillary House Leadership Centre Trust is proud of the achievements of these students, in partnerships that are motivated by Sir Edmund Hillary.