When singer song writer, Luke Thompson, learned of the ZESPRI® YouthBank programme he was blown away there was such a programme available to young people. So when ZESPRI approached Luke to be the 2009 Ambassador for the programme he jumped on board wholeheartedly.
He sees it as a great chance to give a little back to the community he has grown up in. “What an incredible honour to have the opportunity to work with young people and see them grow from this experience. I’m a big fan of seeing young people involved in ‘real projects’, this is good stuff.” Lukes thoughts on giving what you can to your community are “it’s ‘normal’, it doesn’t have to be money, its time, its effort and it’s using your talent, whatever that might be, to make a difference to someone.”
ZESPRI® YouthBank is a programme, administered by the New Zeal Foundation in which 12 colleges throughout the Bay Of Plenty participate. Each school establishes a committee of students along with a teacher to supervise, and together they seek Not for Profit Organisations that need promotion and a little monetary assistance. The committees have a total of $2,000.00 to allocate with only a few criterion from ZESPRI and New Zeal, the recipient organisation will be a registered charitable entity and the maximum $500.00 grant must be to support a youth related project. Ultimately at least four Not for Profit organisations will benefit through each school.
Over the seven years the ZESPRI® YouthBank programme has run it has seen assistance being given to some 350 Youth focussed Not for Profits, while 100’s of students have learned skills to take with them into the future. These students will work as a team, promoting and marketing, developing strategies, and most importantly they will see what it means to make a difference in their own community.
Over the next few weeks each school will be asking the various Not for Profit Organisations to approach them with why they could benefit from being a recipient. Please see below a list of participating schools and their contacts.
ZESPRI and New Zeal see Luke as a great fit for the programme, a local celebrity who can relate to the Bay Of Plenty youth community and is so willing to give his time and talents to promote it. Luke will be on tour in Australia until the end of July and will return to New Zealand to motivate and contribute at the presentation evenings held in August. His Debut Album Here On The Ground is in stores now.