EIT recently hosted a CYFS programme aimed at instilling confidence in vulnerable teenagers and helping them recognise their potential.
The Bridging the Gap initiative was a pilot for Hawke’s Bay although contracted mentor Amanda Betts, who cofounded the scheme, works on a regular basis with young Aucklanders.
EIT collaborated with CYFS in offering the two-day sessions – one for the 12-14 age group and the other for teenagers aged 15 to 17. A further day of one-on-one sessions for the older group has resulted in enrolments at EIT.
Twenty or so participants, most of them living in care, completed the programme, with EIT hairdressing and Hawke’s Bay Trades Academy hair and beauty students working with tutors and Bridging the Gap stylists on their makeovers.
“The point we were making was that if they can transform how they look in such a short time, imagine what they can achieve in their lives,” says Betts, who, despite a dysfunctional upbringing, went on to develop a successful modelling career and co-founded a modelling agency.
Based in Auckland, where she works mainly as a motivational speaker, Betts says she would like to offer the Bridging the Gap programme as a regular event in Hawke’s Bay.