Keanu discovers pathway

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When WITT kaimahi (staff) read about New Plymouth Boys' High School ākonga Keanu Hauraro-Atkin’s (Ngāti Ruanui, Ngāruahine) education goals in a recent Taranaki Daily News story they were keen to show him the pathways available at WITT Te Pūkenga.

“After reading about Keanu’s work ethic and interest in mechanical engineering we made contact and offered him a campus tour and a one-on-one meeting with one of our engineering tutors,” says WITT Te Pūkenga Marketing and Events Coordinator Samantha Legge.

With practical learning at the core of many programmes at WITT there’s plenty to see and experience on a tour.

“There are things you don’t necessarily see from the outside, and it’s a chance to meet our industry-experienced tutors. We have so much to offer, and it’s great to have the opportunity to share it and provide prospective ākonga with the knowledge to be able to make truly informed decisions about their study and career choices.”

Keanu’s mum Moira Atkin also joined him and said Keanu thoroughly enjoyed the experience saying: “I absolutely love it, I am coming here.”

Keanu is in Year 11 and has the option of joining one of the Secondary Tertiary Pathways (STP) programmes that link secondary school and tertiary study as well as studying at WITT when he finishes school.

“I am very lucky he loves school, loves being with his peers and is doing well,” says Moira.

Moira studied mental health at WITT eight years ago and says there were lots of new things to see and learn about on campus.

“It is good to see that the way Keanu learns would be thoroughly supported.”

WITT Mechanical Engineering Tutor Wade Cook met with Keanu and spoke about how tradespeople's minds often work differently from those who favour academic learning and the support we have in place for learners.

“I showed him the workshop and examples of the practical things students make and get to keep like a fish smoker and barbecue lamp,” he says.

“Keanu is good with his hands and when he saw everything he could do with Wade, he loved it,” says Moria.

Part of the tour also included a meeting with our kaitakawaenga team, who offer wrap-around support for Māori Pasifika ākonga to achieve their goals, and the learning advisors in Te Whare Mātauranga (Library / Learning Resource Centre) as well as the Health Clinic, gym and student cafes.

In the Daily News Keanu talked about his jobs, starting with moving lawns from 13 to working for Rodney’s Tyre Service after school. He juggles his paid mahi with school work, boxing training and gym workouts.

Proud Mum Moira says Keanu’s done very well and works very hard.

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