Kiwibank Local Heroes: Alex Bengree

Alex Bengree, centre, says she was completely surprised to be awarded a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.
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Alex Bengree, centre, says she was completely surprised to be awarded a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.

Alex Bengree has played a vital role in leading and developing the Hutt City Youth Council.

After long periods of council instability, Bengree took it upon herself to reinvigorate the organisation to give young people in the Hutt more opportunities.

As well as volunteering for HUHA, Bengree leads "Ball 4 All". This event gives young people with disabilities the opportunity to attend a ball when they may not be able to go to the school one.

Volunteers recognised at the 2016 Hutt City Council Civic Awards, from left, Lorraine (Missy) Awatere, Alex Bengree, ...
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Volunteers recognised at the 2016 Hutt City Council Civic Awards, from left, Lorraine (Missy) Awatere, Alex Bengree, chief executive Tony Stallinger, Lower Hutt mayor Ray Wallace, and Joanne Ruawai-Hawira.

She also founded the project Te Whare Hauora Tattoo Rangatahi, which gives young people a safe environment to share their mental illness experiences with their peers and connects them with experienced counsellors and mental health services.

For the last 10 years, Bengree has been active with Commonwealth Youth New Zealand (CYNZ) and has played a key role in organising the group's annual National Student Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. 

READ MORE:
*Kiwibank Local Heroes: Josh Robertson
*Kiwibank Local Heroes: Marianne Elliott

This event sees 70 high school students spend two days in Wellington building their debating and reasoning skills and gaining experience working in an international setting.

Her dedication to youth in her city earned her a 2016 Kiwibank Local Hero award.

What I do is ...

Fulltime study at Victoria University, part-time administration work, and part-time volunteering with the Hutt City Youth Council, CYNZ and HUHANZ

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I got involved in what I do because ...

I am passionate about people being happy, healthy and achieving their dreams. I love seeing people get to a place in their lives where they can appreciate themselves, others and the world around them.

The most rewarding part is ...

Seeing young people inspired to do great things, be good people, and get involved in their community.

My reaction to being a Wellington Local Hero was ...

Complete surprise! I was just checking my emails while waiting for a coffee and saw an email that said simply said, "congratulations ..." I had to go through a long list of names to see why I was being congratulated, and am so grateful to be on that list with the other recipients.

The highlight of 2016 was ...

Both the Local Hero Awards and receiving a civic honour from my mayor.

The lowlight was ...

Brexit.

My perfect holiday is ...

Travelling, being able to relax in the sun with friends, and not worry about any work I have to do.

But in reality I'll be ...

Busy with summer school and trying to catch up with friends where I can.

Wellington's best spot is ...

Scorching Bay!

If I could meet one Wellingtonian for coffee, it would be ...

Taika Waititi.

In 2017 I'm most looking forward to ...

Being a part of the Queen's Young Leader's training programme and finishing my degree.

 - Stuff

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