The Aotearoa Youth Leadership Institute exists to train and inspire a new generation of New Zealand leaders by giving them the opportunity to attend the world’s most significant international conferences.
In 2012, Sam Johnson and I met through a mutual acquaintance. We quickly hit it off and became friends and co-conspirators. Both of us had represented New Zealand youth at overseas conferences, and we wanted to build something to give other young New Zealanders the chances we’d had. We managed to make that happen when we launched the Institute in 2013, initially as a P3 Foundation project.
This year, with P3 Foundation’s blessing, we’re making the Institute an independent charity. Sam, Jade Leung and I are the founding trustees, supporting an excellent CEO (Okay, okay – I’m biased: we are also dating. And, yes, I was conflicted off the interview panel).
In our first two years, we’ve sent 50 young New Zealanders to conferences all over the world. Now, we want to keep that going – but also launch a domestic project to help support the youth volunteer sector here in New Zealand.