Gap year students celebrate their graduation

gap year

On Saturday the 26th of November, the Marist/Challenge 2000 gap year students graduated from their course, and with a certificate in youth work.

The nine students and their friends and whanau gathered in the chapel of St Pat’s College Wellington, to celebrate with a liturgy and presentation.

The students began with a waiata and then a skit – in which they very effectively portrayed one Kitty McKinley, the Gap Year coordinator, before the nine of them each presented a speech.

Their speeches were heartfelt and emotional, but also eloquent and insightful.

They spoke of their significant experiences, on placement and retreat, and the inner journey by which they have come to believe more deeply, not only in God, but also in themselves and the world around them. This was moving and inspiring to watch.

The photgraph above:
Back row from left to right: Lio Soane, Michael Start, Jesse Gerrard, Jared Tofaeono
Front row from left to right: Dylan Lynch, Piki Boyles, Sarah Atkinson, Nora Condra, Keeley Grevatt

Director of Challenge 2000, Steve O’Connor, responded with a vote of confidence and thanks, reflecting on Challenge’s goal to help love and support young people into their best selves, and the fact that these gap graduates were testimony to the significance and success of this work.

Tim Duckworth then spoke on behalf of the Marists, accepting the thanks of the students, and celebrating a formation programme that, often unlike mainstream education, teaches young people that they – and not only the arbitrary 5% – can be effective and fulfilled, successful and happy.

This was much to reflect on, but also much to celebrate, and so the graduates and their community happily concluded the liturgy with presentation of certificates and a closing waiata. The celebrations then continued over a meal, with plenty of food and stories to share.

The Gap Year a one year programme that involves holistic formation, NZQA youth work training, work placements, experiences, and local and possibly international travel.

The Gap Year offers the chance to develop the social, spiritual, intellectual, employment, well-being and physical elements that are required for a positive, successful and balanced life.

Participants can also access the extras that will help on their life journey: driver’s licence, first aid certificate technology training. They even get paid.

Already 63 young people from New Zealand and overseas have accepted have graduated from the programme.


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News category: New Zealand.

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