Every young person finding success

Daniel Gray
(General manager of an alternative education provider, North Auckland, NZ)

I love that every day I get to take Jesus into all the world working with some of the most at risk young people in our country. 

I believe that every young person can find success in some way.  They just need the time and support to do so. My job is to teach, encourage and challenge my students to experience that success. 

The biggest challenge is that often our young people are working through complex issues like serious family challenges. Because they are in such a place of pressure it’s easy to just write them off as badly behaved or even as bad people. They’re misunderstood, judged and labelled as hopeless delinquents. I don’t believe this to be accurate. 

The best part of my job is getting to be that person that they learn to trust.  Being there so that they know there’s someone in their corner fighting for them and advocating for their interests. 

Education in this setting is so very different to mainstream. If we get to do maths or literacy that’s a bonus, but seeing young people learn to trust adults again, or experience the outdoors, put up a tent, catch an eel or even use their manners is where the sweet spot is. 

This is where I get to work out my mission, going into all the world, to share Jesus in a very practical and tangible way.

 

Jessica Parkes