Auckland's youth honoured

A strategic action plan for Auckland's young people was kicked off tonight with the I Am Auckland Youth Awards. 

The ceremony recognises individuals, organisations and young people for their work with youth.  

Tonight's winner was described as someone who inspires and goes above and beyond. 

Te Korowai Youth Link's Debbie Stanaway was announced as the overall winner of the individual youth worker award. 

One of the young people that nominated Stanaway said she helped her find her voice and speak up. 

"She has found my hidden strengths, where others have seen me as lazy and having no hope, I can now see a future," she said. 

Stanaway is one of three supreme winners at the awards held by Auckland Council, The Cube and the Youth Advisory Panel. 

It kicks off the beginning of council's strategic action plan for children and young people which sets goals to accelerate the prospects of Auckland youth. 

Almost 40 per cent of Auckland's population is made up of children or young people and the plan encourages the safety and well being of them as well as creating opportunities and ensuring they're connected to the city. 

Manurewa based Te Kaha O Te Rangatahi Trust won the the Rangatahi Tu Rangatira Award in recognition of their work with young Maori and Papatuanuku Kokori Marae's youth group 1FORTY1 won the Young Person award for their youth programmes and community projects. 

Another dozen youth workers, organisations and young people were also recognised for their community contributions including YMCA Auckland, Deaf Aotearoa, Recreate NZ and PHAB.

The awards were developed and delivered by youth with support from mentors and nominations were judged by the Youth Advisory Panel. 

Fairfax Media