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Rotorua Weekender - 2021-11-26

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Lakeisha goes above and beyond for others

NEWS

Shauni James

Lakeisha Collier, 11, of Horohoro School, has been recognised for going above and beyond to help others, at a virtual ceremony where she received a Fred Hollows Humanity Award. The helpful Year 6 student demonstrates true manākitanga, consistently taking on extra responsibilities to help teachers and students whenever she sees an opportunity. Lakeisha makes the toast for the whole school every morning and turns on the heat pump in all classrooms. She also steps up to look after new tamariki at her school. The Fred Hollows Humanity Awards, now in their third year in New Zealand, are inspired by legendary New Zealander and founder of The Fred Hollows Foundation NZ, the late Professor Fred Hollows. The awards recognise young New Zealanders who strive to make the world around them better and embody the values of compassion, integrity and kindness. Pirihira Brown, who nominated Lakeisha for the award, says, “Lakeisha is an incredible role model for her peers. “She is a softly spoken young lady who just always shows genuine caring with no expectation of reward or acknowledgment.” Lakeisha says she felt surprised and embarrassed when she found out she had received the award. She says she enjoys helping the teachers and others. Teacher Rachell Wheeler says the school was amazed and really grateful that Lakeisha was acknowledged. She says Lakeisha is really humble, but they wanted her to know in more ways than what they have already told her that she is such a helpful, kind and caring person. “She often sees an area where she can help without being asked. She sees a window of opportunity.” Fred Hollows Foundation NZ chief executive Dr Audrey Aumua says the 10 young New Zealanders who received Fred Hollows Humanity Awards this year have shown the compassion, initiative, and courage to take action to make the world better for others, encapsulating the qualities of Fred Hollows. “Fred championed the right of all people to have highquality and affordable eye care, and he spent his life standing up for that right. “There are so many young New Zealanders stepping up to support their fellow students and communities, and it is wonderful to recognise and encourage that.”

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