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A group of former South Auckland kids and those with ties to the community has set up The Rising Foundation to assist at-risk-youth to develop to their full potential.

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Student Profile

Profile of students The Rising Foundation has helped and aims to help

Lupe Soapi:
Having come through The Rising Foundation programme in high school in year 11 to Year 13 I was very fortunate. I was exposed to a new way of thinking where I gained a better understanding of myself and also others. Becoming a Prefect in Year 13, I was encouraged to make the most of my opportunities in life and became a more confident leader through the many things I experienced.

Kaitlyn Murray:
Since joining I have learnt a lot about both myself and the people around me. I have learnt how to be more confident and also how to be a leader. TRF has taught me to think on the spot and to make decisions quickly while taking into consideration those around me and what’s best for them as well as me. I have had the opportunity to meet so many people who all have their own story which has allowed me to learn more. I have had the opportunity to grow individually and as part of a group as well as watch others around me do the same.

Feleti Lotulelei:
TRF has opened so many more doors for me along my life journey, developing me with skills for being Head Boy at Papakura High School; becoming a JB Grad at TRF and helping at school and camps; a TRF Trustee privately funding my tertiary studies for three years; to me today, giving back all I can as a full time staff member of TRF.  I am grateful for every opportunity that TRF has given me and I, too, look forward to assisting those in their journeys with us.

Ariana Tupoutoa:
I have been in the Rising Foundation for 5 years. I started in 2010. For myself, this journey has been the most extreme journey ever and has built up a lot of self-identity. I remember my very first meeting I was absolutely shy and joining this group was very nerve racking. When I first joined up I didn’t understand the four pillars that well. My journey was very up and down like a rollercoaster. The camps I did go on were lifetime opportunities and by having that opportunity, I felt very fortunate to get that chance. I remember the first camp I went on was in the city. There we did activities like an amazing race. This camp was my first taste of TRF and it was a quite amazing first impression. There I developed skills of communication and not being shy. Just being open minded. This camp put the pillar ‘collaboration’ in place. It felt weird at first to interact with people I never knew but I got over it and just pushed through. My next camp were excursions from school this would have been the camp that impacted me the most. For me, my biggest fear is heights and this was the ultimate camp that helped me to overcome it. One of the main activities was to bungy jump of the harbour bridge. I was very afraid, so afraid I cried before we got there. But I knew if I hadn’t had done it that it would’ve been a big regret. So I just picked myself up and thought yes I am going to bungy jump and I did it. That was probably the most proud moment that I have ever had. Accomplishing my biggest/worst fear shot my confidence up to a high level. From that one camp I have found courage in myself that I never knew I had and this was just the one extra piece to my puzzle of finding my identity. I found that by thinking I can’t do something, I won’t do it. So the pillar ‘Mensa’ played a part of this camp. My positive mind-set actually helped me to make that jump. After that I slipped away from the group because it started to interfere with Kapa Haka and then I wasn’t able to juggle things around. Then when I came back in year 11, I attended another camp which was in Turangi. There we did activities like jet boats, helicopter ride and looking at a view from Mt Ruapehu. This camp was an easy going camp and because I was now a senior this is where my accurate representation starting coming into place. As a senior I had to set a good example for the new ones coming through. After that I did leave again but then year 13 came around and I got asked to come back. I thought about my experience and journey I had started and by coming back in year 13 I could graduate and finish what I had begun. The recent camp I went on was just day excursions and we did cooking challenges, Waiwera and more. As a Year 13 student, I had become an advisor. Being an advisor was something different because I wasn’t being led; I was leading and giving advice to those younger than me. Being in this position was weird but I knew that being the older person I had to lead everyone else. Here the pillar ‘creativity’ came into place. I could give creative ideas to my younger peers and pass on all the knowledge that this group has implemented into me. The Rising Foundation has given me a chance to put my pieces to my puzzle and finally reveal my true identity. I am glad I have been a part of this group because now that I have nearly graduated I can help and also be part of other people’s journey.
Thank You
Ariana Tupouto’a

Billie Paterson:
(Head Prefect Pukekohe High School 2014)

I started my journey with the rising just over two years ago. The Rising Foundation has grown and nurtured me into the person I am today. My perspective of the rising when I first joined was that I was chosen to be in a leadership programme. I had soon learnt that from experiencing my first camp, there was much more to it. over these past two years I have been opened to a newer and positive outlook on life that has allowed me to discover who I truly am. From having self confidence in myself to being tested in few of the hardest tests I have experienced, I have been able to place our key values of the rising and apply them into my life, which has also allowed to be imprinted into my family as well. all of what I have learnt on my journey has developed me to be open minded to everything. The one thing I believe has really changed me from my first camp is my attitude . I am so thankful to have been given this opportunity and allowing me to help guide others starting and developing through their own journey as well. It is such an honour to be part of their learning as I am constantly learning from the other students as well. The rising has prepared me for my years ahead and I am so grateful to continue my journey next year studying social work and working for the rising foundation in the core team. TRF 4 LYF!