Currently working for Māori Women’s Development Inc. as the Rangitahi Project Manager, Arahina started her journey with WelTec in 2015, completing a degree in Youth Work in 2018. In this role she spends her time organising programmes and events across Aotearoa with young people in places like schools or youth organisations, teaching them to run business enterprise programmes. For Arahina, no two days are the same which is exactly how she likes it.
Arahina knew she wanted to work with youth because as a young person she went through some hard times – times where she really needed someone to identify different opportunities for her, or someone to help her on a different path. Youth work is her way of giving back to her community – she wants to be that role model in someone’s life giving them the support they need to turn their lives around. Her favorite part of the job is being able to impact young people on such a large scale, and being that person that ignites the excitement for entrepreneurship inside young people across Aotearoa. Providing youth with the tools to be able to create a life in business or anything else they want to do is extremely fulfilling for her.
Throughout her time at Whitireia, Arahina’s tutors gave her the supportive network she was looking for. As a Māori woman, it was important for her to be able to share her learnings through things like waiata and sharing stories, and her tutors encouraged her to be true to her culture and identity which helped her finish the programme. Apart from the supportive tutors, Arahina learned specific models (like The Circle of Courage) for helping youth and has implemented them into her mahi.
Now that she has the skills and experience, she wants to start her own business. As she’s been inspiring Kiwi youth to spark their own inner entrepreneurs, she’s managed to spark her own passion too for entrepreneurship too – a passion she’s using as her drive to change the lives of so many, including her own. Her advice for students interested in studying Youth Work is to use your passion as your drive. “Continue to tap into your passion for working with youth and remember your drive.”