Gaining Valuable Leadership and Mentoring Skills – An Interview with Joe Glancy

26 February 2018

17 year old Joe Glancy has grown up in the small, close-knit community of Hari Hari, located 50 minutes south of Hokitika and one hour north of Franz Josef Glacier. Having two teachers as parents means education is important to him and he is fully immersed in life as a Year 13 student at South Westland Area School (SWAS).

Joe Glancy

Joe has always been encouraged to increase his knowledge and experience and has been involved in both leadership and mentoring programmes. One such example is the Westland Mentoring Programme (WMP) in 2017, which was developed by Westland District Council (WDC) and supported by the Ministry of Youth Development (MYD).

“My friends, family and teachers have always been extremely supportive and encouraging of positive actions that present the opportunity to benefit others,” says Joe.

WMP is a youth mentoring programme for young people in Westland and includes goal-setting, action plans and reflection statements. Young people are mentored as individuals or in groups to develop youth focused initiatives, and gain and develop leadership, organisational and social skills to support transition into employment and further education.

Joe also grasped the opportunity to take part in the Westland Rural Education Activities Programme (WestREAP). This programme supports early childhood, schools, tertiary, and adult community education and the transitions between these levels. The focus is on gaps resulting from rural isolation, whether this is isolation of the WestREAP area from metropolitan and urban services, or isolation of its small communities spread over long distances from the regional service centres of Greymouth and Hokitika. Isolation can also be related to age, disability, ethnicity, language or other factors.

“In the past years, WestReap have been extremely supportive and inclusive of SWAS and I have been fortunate enough to be a part of their programme. We have worked with the older students building trust and confidence in teamwork scenarios. This has been rewarding for me because I can see that we have become much closer friends due to this support,” says Joe.

In 2018, MYD is supporting Westland District Council to deliver a Combined Adolescent Challenge Training Unit and Support (CACTUS) programme through MYD’s Partnership Fund – Local Government. CACTUS challenges young people to use both body and mind through disciplined physical training programmes.

Young people participate in a fitness and skills programme that develops leadership skills, and provides mentoring and volunteering opportunities. Courses run for eight weeks parallel to school terms over the course of a year, and include climbing, caving, rafting, mountain-biking and tramping activities.

Separate programmes will be delivered in Hari Hari and Hokitika and opportunities are provided to allow young people from both locations to complete joint activities to support greater connections between young people in the Westland District.

Joe will lead the weekly components of his school’s CACTUS programme on a voluntary basis.

“This will be a privilege that I will thoroughly enjoy because I will be directly impacting on my peers and friends. I am looking to gain more knowledge in leadership and I feel that by running CACTUS this year, it will certainly help my confidence in leading a team,” he says.

We asked Joe what his advice would be to other young people looking to develop valuable leadership and mentoring skills, and make a difference in their communities.

“I have always believed that no matter how much you learn, there will always be more. I am always encouraging others to engage in activities and also to learn off each other. I believe I am a team player, that I will try my best to listen to everyone’s opinion, and that I respect everybody equally. It is so important to stay positive and strive to be the best that you can be.”

Sounds like good advice to us.