Overcome challenges – Don’t let your past predict your future

“Don’t let your past predict your future. These kids have the potential to be our future lawyers, doctors, journalists, politicians and also they are great role models for other kids coming through.”

This was the message Oranga Tamariki (The Ministry for Vulnerable Children) chief executive Grainne Moss delivered when scholarships and prize-money were awarded to 20 young people in state care at the annual William Wallace awards in Wellington on Wednesday.

The awards celebrate people in the care of the Oranga Tamariki, who have overcome challenges in life.

Blaise Hubbard, from Gisborne, has been in care since she was 8-years-old.

An accomplished musician, with a master on at least six instruments and dreams of being a music teacher.

Hubbard won tuition fees for her first year of study at Victoria University in Wellington.

But she did not see herself as disadvantaged.

“It’s more your own mindset in how well you’re going to do, you have to be willing to put in the effort to get places. I don’t think I was disadvantaged with my predicament.”

One of last year’s award winners Dallas Thomson said he had moved homes 20 times over six years in care, but it was important to remain positive.

“When you move around a lot like I have you learn to grow up very quick as maturity is brought upon you at a young age.”

The awards are named after William Wallace, who left a bequest to Child, Youth and Family.

Wallace (who died in Australia on 17 July 1989) left his residual estate to ‘the neglected children’s department or like institution of the Dominion of New Zealand’.

Wallace intended that these funds would be used to nurture children and young people in care and help them develop their potential.

There are 15 – 20 awards available each year, which total in value up to $4,000:

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News category: New Zealand, News Shorts.

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