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MYSTORY internship graduation dinner


10 November 2019


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Guest speaker at the MYSTORY internship dinner Penina Ifopo with her son David.

Penina Ifopo, guest speaker at the MYSTORY internship graduation dinner delivered a simple message; ‘Speak your truth and be fearless. When you have a platform, you have a voice’.

The MYSTORY internship dinner celebrated the efforts of the eleven 2019 MYSTORY interns comprised of Pacific young people in South Auckland, to enhance their academic, career and wellbeing goals through a nine-month internship.

A commitment of at least 10 hours a month was required from the interns. To Penina, the internship programme is a clever way to get the community acknowledging and listening to the stories from young people, conveying their emotions and voicing issues that are important to them.

These interns attended monthly workshops dedicated to developing their skills, supporting their studies and improving their wellbeing goals.

The MYSTORY Summit in June provided a platform for the interns to speak about their story and their life journey. Many were passionate about creating solutions for young people and were hopeful that by sharing their stories, they could affect the change they want to see.

“It was a real honour for me to be invited to speak about the importance of creating a Pacific by Pasefika for Pasefika young people to unleash their potential and tell their stories using their own lens,” says Penina.

“I spoke about the importance of the MYSTORY project in gaining personal and professional lifelong skills for these young people. My son Tavita is one of the eleven interns and for me, being able to speak about the great need to have more Pasefika youth centered mentoring programmes facilitated by our own Pacific people was my way of sharing and representing the views of other parents.”

“As parents we can only support and be the greatest source of encouragement but we would like to acknowledge SouthSeas Healthcare, the supporting agencies and all those who have dedicated their time to mentoring the MYSTORY interns and nurturing our young people.”

“It was a great evening, recognising the first cohort of the MYSTORY interns rewarded for their hard work and I hope many more agencies will support MYSTORY as a platform for amplifying youth, parent and community voice, which leads to a proactive call for action based on the stories and solutions shared,” says Penina.

The internship graduation dinner was held at Sorrento in the Park, hosted by SouthSeas, with parents and families of the interns attending, along with supporting agencies.

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