- * Jayden at the Paeroa skate park.
Paeroa’s Jayden Konye is getting set for a new career in forestry after assistance from the Youth Services team at Te Wānanga o Aotearoa has helped him overcome a series of life challenges.
Jayden - a 17-year-old who has American, Hungarian and Kiwi heritage - loves to skate and hang out with friends.
In 2020, he was introduced to Youth Services coach Carolyn Walker by his teacher at Paeroa College as his mental health wasn’t good and he needed help to leave home.
“I have found Youth Services very helpful and effective. I have been with them for coming up a year.”
He says Carolyn helped him:
- find housing three times
- get a bed and linen for his new flat
- complete a budgeting course and do banking
She also helped with a referral to a psychologist. “It was very beneficial and I no longer suffer from depression.
“I completed NCEA Level Two at Paeroa College last year. I recently signed out so I can start my apprenticeship. Caro is also helping me to get my restricted licence. She takes me for weekly driving lessons.”
He was previously on a Youth Payment benefit. But this was cancelled a few months ago after he got a part-time job at Caltex with Carolyn’s help as well. He was able to fit this job in around his schooling.
“I have been able to financially support myself.”
Now he’s just been offered a silviculture apprenticeship through Waikato Forestry Services.
“I start in a few weeks. I am eager and keen but also a little nervous. My goal is to be an arborist.”
Overall, he says the best things he’s gained from his involvement with Youth Services are being able to live independently and improving his mental health.
His advice to any other teens in a difficult situation is to reach out.
“Get out of your bad situation by finding someone who can help you, focus on the good things that you can change.”