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Tindall Foundation Project results

At-risk youth lack positive peer role models. Early encounters with such peer role models help shape an alternative and constructive pathway for at-risk youth.

The challenge for young role models to empower their at-risk peers is that they are not yet fully aware of their own success nor have mastered the art of storytelling, i.e. using a personal narrative to inspire others. They are students, young professionals or have started their own business – in the early stages of their careers.

The Tindall-Funded project showcases Waikato-based interviewees, matching the needs, backgrounds and ethnicities of our target audience. Stories are about building self-confidence, overcoming peer pressure and educational barriers, coping with disability and acknowledging small steps achievements.

Learning from virtual peers differentiates this project from others who showcase famous figures, of different age, socioeconomic or cultural characteristics to target audience – hence are difficult for at-risk youth to identify with. It also differs from ongoing one-on-one mentoring situations, which are increasingly more difficult to establish and sustain and typically leave a large proportion of at-risk youth without access to these powerful narratives of success.

Using technology to help close gaps. Our target age group responds well to audiovisual material and is, in fact, already learning from online resources of untested quality. One advantage of building this learning platform is to collate a library of ‘virtual’ role models displaying high quality positive narratives that at-risk youth can identify with and learn from.

We offer this learning package online and via DVDs, aiming to spread our storytelling methodology to Youth and Community Development organisations to strengthen our collective capacity and become even more effective at delivering quality services for our communities. See our Contact page to reach our project director Dr. Annick Janson.

Project done in collaboration with The HubYouth Services. Heartfelt thanks to our funder the Tindall Foundation.