Kia ora! My name is William and I have been a member of the Mount Albert YMCA Raise Up Crew for around two years now, having joined in mid-2019. Unfortunately, I am coming to the end of my time with Raise Up as I am moving on to University study next year. However, that means I can reflect on my time here, and it has been a blast! I joined Raise Up with a lot of uncertainty - a close friend of mine had been a member of the crew for a while and he sold it to me, but I didn't know what to expect. Would it be too much work? Would it be boring? Would it be awkward? These are all doubts most people have when they sign up for anything, and in no time I was reassured that Raise Up is none of those things. Thanks to the amazing group of people I have been with, Raise Up has been so much fun and all the service and community work we have done has been gratifying and enjoyable. In all honesty, 2019 was a year where I grew and changed a lot as a person - I gained a lot of confidence and Raise Up really helped me with this. What I love about Raise Up is that we are platformed to give back to the community and create an awesome space for young people, but also get to work together with a team of friends that you get to know really well. Some events I have enjoyed have been: the Mount Albert Cultural Festival, both 2019 and 2020 Raise Up New Found Sound, the 2020 Raise Up Camp and of course the 2020 Graduation night. I couldn't pick one favourite memory but would have to highlight that the many Wednesday afternoon meetings I have spent drawing a healthy balance between productive contributions to the crew and slightly less productive chats with crewmates have been a really awesome addition to my week.
Hey I'm Shreya! I am from the Puketāpapa crew and I have been part of Raise Up for the last 3 years. During my time in Raise Up I have learnt to take every opportunity I get and make the most out of it. My favourite memory would be the camp game night. Each crew dressed up in their colours and we all compete in a series of fun games and challenges throughout the night. The atmosphere is so lively and everyone is cheering and participating it never fails to put a smile on my face.
Kia ora whanau! My name is Rylee Bracken and I am a proud Raise up alumni. My journey with Raise Up started when I was 16, I was a part of the Puketāpapa raise up crew and spent 2 amazing years as a crew member. I had the honour of winning crew member of the year in 2019 at graduation and since then, I've always had a special place in my heart for the programme. The programme back then and to this day has been my second whanau, I grew up in ways I didn’t think I would and give credit to the programme for shaping me into the person i am today. A favourite memory of mine would be the conversations I had with other crew members during my mentorship position but also getting amongst the other events run by other crews (as it got me out of the house lol). A key piece of advice I would like to give young people in the programme is take every opportunity that gets given to you, make as many connections as you can throughout your time in the programme and unleash your inner creativity. These people can become your lifelong friends so take it all in! Enjoy the journey, be open minded and have fun!!
Raise Up has been going from strength to strength!
2020 was a hard year for a lot of us, COVID was a curveball no one saw coming and unfortunately took a toll on young people and staff. However, this did not stop our Raise Up community! The young people within Raise Up took it all on and didn't let it stop them from being the best versions of themselves. Taking the opportunity lockdown gave them support and encourage others.
They grew their social media presence and connected with Aotearoa, through live streams, guest interviews, daily challenges, crew meetings, and so much more. Taking every chance to run events through the constant lockdowns and in between levels. These young people build safe, fun environments that create an amazing youth development experience!
We were excited and grateful to be able to end the year with another awesome graduation dinner. This time at Five Knots in mission bay where we had over 100 young people and staff come together to celebrate all the obstacles, challenges and amazing work done by our young people.
Puketāpapa Crew took away the trophy as our 2020 Crew of the year! It had been well earned, through their Lockdown daily challenges, community clean-ups, care packages to the homeless, Youth Fest and Movie night just to name a few. This crew of 10 young people (one of our smallest crews at the time) took every opportunity to build up their community and build up the young people around them.
We are excited to go into 2021 stronger than ever before and all we have to say is watch this space because 'young people or care, create communities that care.' 2021 Come at us!