Lara Morgan, one of our Palmerston North catalysts, caught up with the team to share her thoughts on the journey so far:
Tell us a bit about yourself!
I’m a 19 year old student studying at Massey University working towards a BA in Creative Writing and Theatre Studies. Writing, theatre, and art are all huge parts of my life. I’ve been a part of Future Leaders before and I’m now taking the next step up as a Catalyst.
I haven't always been the one to put my name down for things, or to speak up in a crowd and share my ideas, or the one to do assignments in time and not stress myself out. So it's been a bit of a tough journey to overcome those things, some of which I still have a bit of a way to go.
All my friends and family inspire me to do the best I can. All those young men and women who come from all walks of life who have achieved something great. They show me that if there's something I want to achieve, and if I work for it, then I can make it happen. If not, something good always comes from my hard work.
Tell us about your community, what’s great about it, and what are some of the challenges facing your community?
Palmy is often known as a student city. We have UCOL and Massey and the School of Design and Trade and Commerce. It's not exactly small, but it's not a city either. There are a lot of pretty cool things to do, although Palmy can seem pretty small sometimes. What I love most about my community is the artsy part of town, around the city library and the youth space and all the sculptures and murals popping up. The area around the Square is pretty nice. Also the people, there are some pretty awesome people around Palmy, some awesome people who are working on some pretty awesome things.
The biggest challenge is a lack of knowledge around opportunities and things to do. A lot of people say that there's ‘nothing to do in Palmy', but there are plenty of things when you know where to look. Young people, don’t know where to start looking. I want to make a change within myself, and within my community.
Why did you join the Future Leaders programme and where are you hoping it takes you?
The Future Leaders programme has been a great opportunity to develop my own leadership and communication skills, also a chance to do something that has a positive impact for the young people in my community. My hopes for the future is to do something that I love, surrounded by people I love. To publish my book series. To just enjoy life, making a positive impact. No matter how big or small.
I plan to make the best of the opportunities that I can get through this project, making as many connections I can, taking in everything I that I've learnt so I can carry it with me in the future. I hope to use this programme as a way to learn how to utilise my skills so I can continue to try and make a change in my community. The fact that I know I have these skills, I have been told I have the skills and the potential to do these things, I just need to learn how to utilise those skills.