From rangatahi to kaimahi: The journeys of RISE’s young people


This week, the Aotearoa team are celebrating Youth Week with an event for our past and present rōpū. Four previous RISE alumni will be returning and speaking to our current cohort of rangatahi about their journeys while on programme, and will be sharing some of their achievements since graduating.

While we’re excited for this event later in the week, we’d like to take this chance to celebrate the young kaimahi in our organisation. So, we’re pulling back the curtain to introduce to you the Wellington team who are empowering the future workforce of tomorrow; Taylor and Jade.

Meet Taylor-Rose, Kaitiaki Youth Programme Manager in our office in Te Whanganui-a-Tara:

“Coming through the Talent RISE programme in early 2022 was a pivotal moment for me in my career, as it helped me to unlock the potential in myself, I didn’t even realise I had.

“Experiencing how much the programme had made an impact on myself and my peers made the prospect of offering that same opportunity to support more young people on their own journeys so worthwhile. Growing up in a community where so many of my peers were brimming with potential yet not being aware of the support networks that were available to nurture their skills really highlighted the importance of the mahi that we do at Talent RISE.

“Now, since coming into my role as the Kaitiaki for our Wellington programme, my goal is to continue empowering the mana of more Māori me Pasifika rangatahi through the power of meaningful employment and continuing to set up our young people for success, both professionally and personally.

“The journeys of all our young people we support continue to inspire me and knowing we’ve played even a small part in that has been the greatest part of this opportunity.”

Meet Jade, Kaimahi also from our branch in Te Whanganui-a-Tara:

“I am a graduate of our 16th Talent RISE cohort, and I am super fortunate to be able to offer the same opportunity I was given to other rangatahi today. I came into the programme unsure of which career path I could see myself in or even where I saw myself heading in the next 10 years.

“As I progressed through Talent RISE, it allowed me to identify strengths I never knew existed and ignited a passion of working in a space where I could provide the same support that Talent RISE had shown me. I quickly realised that I had a passion for serving young people and stepping into a space where when the right support is given, the better outcomes they will receive.

“Fast forward to today, I am now the Kaimahi here at Talent RISE in Wellington, where I am able to help break down the barriers that hold them back from fulfilling their own potential and setting them up with foundational skills that they will be able to use to flourish in this world. The mahi I get to do today has shown me that if you invest time and care into a young person, you are not only helping to break down the barriers they’ve faced but you play an essential part in helping them succeed.

“No two groups are the same but the mahi that we do will always be centred around helping rangatahi succeed.”

If you’re a young person interested in accessing opportunities for entry-level roles, work experience, workshops and training, or an employer or youth organisation interested in partnering with us, please get in touch here.