From Wanaka Sun (front page) 13 - 19 April 2017
One of Wanaka’s volunteering students has scooped a top accolade in Wellington for his achievements within the LGBTI community.
Mount Aspiring College (MAC) student Leo Munro-Heward (pictured on left) was awarded in the Giving Back category at the New Zealand Youth Awards, held at Parliament on Tuesday April 11.
The 16-year-old, who is heavily involved in MAC’s Sticks N’ Stones anti-bullying group, was recognised for the Queer Straight Alliance he set up in Wanaka to raise awareness and support for fellow students and young people.
The Giving Back Award was designed for young people whose actions address a current need and have had a significant impact on their community.
Presenter of the awards, Minister for Youth Nikki Kaye, noted that Leo stood out for his passion towards inclusion, acceptance and diversity and the fact that he is a champion for the freedom of all young people to be able to be themselves without fear, harassment, prejudice or bullying.
Around 190 nominations were received around the country and of those 50 were presented with awards. MAC principal Wayne Bosley said that he was very proud of Leo and the acknowledgement on a national stage.
“Leo is a young man who is determined to make a positive difference and I believe his promotion of inclusiveness should be admired and supported by people of all ages,” Wayne said.
“He is passionate about inclusion which is one of the college's key values. His own focus for this year is to encourage a positive, welcoming and supportive environment for Wanaka youth that celebrates diversity.”
Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean said that she was delighted at Leo’s achievement.
“Leo is a champion for the freedom of all young people and I am proud that we have such talented young people in this region,” she said.
“These young people have shown enormous potential and resourcefulness and with such bright young minds achieving incredible feats, I have every confidence that the future of our region and our country is in safe hands.”
Pictured: Leo with fellow recipients of the Giving Back Award on Tuesday night.
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