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What's in a role model story?

Our project "Engaging at-risk youth through effective transitional role models" collates interviews of young positive people who have overcome some difficulty to get onto the pathway that will eventually help them achieve their dream...

One ouf our research questions was "What elements of a role model story can be enrolled to put together a narrative powerful enough to move at risk youth?". Following on the footsteps of researchers who have studied the underlying structure of myths and change stories (Campbell and Denning for instance) we interviewed role models and produced stories such as Staverton's (Tony) below:

Despite the long years of study and hard work Tony knows he’s in the right place. He admits his first year of study, was difficult, and at times, stressful. But perseverance has paid off and he’s now a practicing medical doctor in Auckland. Tony is working to see more Pacific people in the health profession. “Pasifika children need to realise they can be whatever they want, but only they can do it and make that choice. You don’t have to prove to anyone else but yourself. At the end of the day it’s up to you.

More about Tony in this Career Choice article and on the CareersNZ website.