Impressive passing out ceremony
Nine teenage boys from Kapiti and Hawke’s Bay graduated on Thursday. These lads who mainly come from working class and Maori backgrounds, had completed a Youth Quest Kapiti (YQK) course.
The organisation picks up at-risk youths who are referred by police, schools and the courts, and turns their lives around.
At the graduation all the young men spoke warmly about what the course had done for them, what the staff had taught them and their hopes for the future.
It was occasion filled with humour, informality, pride and commendation.
YQK gets scant funding from official sources, whereas ZEAL, which largely serves young people from wealthier families, gets massive support from the Kapiti Coast District Council.
But for YQK, Thursday’s graduates might have become a burden on society and soaked up plenty of taxpayer money.