Teenager rises to challenge
Two life-changing programmes have helped a McAuley High School student get through tough times.
Lose Halatoa joined mentoring programme YWCA Auckland Future Leaders four years ago as a year 10 student.
Taking part gave her the chance to complete outdoor adventure-based experience Outward Bound last year as part of a scholarship offered by YWCA, the world's largest women's organisation.
At Anakiwa, in the Marlborough Sounds, there were physical challenges, including countless push-ups and running a half marathon, but Lose says it was the emotional support she received that made a big difference to her life.
"I always thought Outward Bound was just physical but it saved me," she says. "After I lost my mum last year I was in a really bad place but this gave me space to think and re-prioritise."
She says the YWCA Future Leaders programme also offered her the same type of emotional support.
"Everyone helped so much. The YWCA Auckland team, the other girls, they would sit with me and let me talk about Mum," she says.
Lose will head down to Otago University this year, where she hopes to study medicine.