Volunteer Marlborough's new programme, Youth on Boards, is a pilot programme within VM itself, for now. The aim of the project is to increase the number of youth volunteers (aged 16 to 24) who are recruited, trained, matched, and effectively engaged in decision-making roles on non-profit boards so that they can help to shape the future of the Marlborough and Kaikoura regions.
Across the region, experienced Board members are retiring in greater numbers and, as more not-for-profits are established, organisations can face increasing challenges to recruit and retain Board members. Engaging youth as Board members can ensure relevance to the people being served and healthy relationships between young people and adults. It is our belief that learning about policy making, advocacy, and organisational leadership is essential for many youth and can help give them a sense of the democratic possibilities in society, and the inspiration and motivation to take action in their own communities.
For the 2018 year, we have engaged two young women from Marlborough Girls College to work with our Board, as non-voting members. Next year it is hoped that we can extend the programme into other organisations. Ultimately the 3-year goal is to place 40 first-time Board members, build training and support systems, and share best practice, tools, and resources with at least 20 organisations who have recognised the value of this programme.
We encourage organisations to reject the old thinking regarding youth - 'lazy', 'irresponsible', 'selfish' - and instead look at them in a new lights. Youth offer intelligence, creative thinking, and a valuable outlook on the world that is rarely introduced into the governance of organisations.
Through our Youth on Boards programme, we hope to grow the number of young people representing a very important demographic. These young people, although a relatively small percentage of the total number of volunteers in New Zealand, are critical to ensuring the future sustainability of the voluntary sector.
YOUTH on Boards MEMBERS:
Shannon McLean (Year 12):
Hi! I'm Shannon McLean and I am delighted to be chosen to be part of the Youth on Boards programme in Marlborough. I already do some volunteer work as a member of the LEO's Club through Marlborough Girls College. I am also involved in many school and Marlborough related committees such as being on the Marlborough Youth Council, the Enviro Club, the Formal Committee and helping to lead the Academic and Studen Hauora committees. I am a form captain and I am working toward my bronze Duke of Edinburgh award. I am second in command for the Marlborough Girls College Student Council.
I aim to one day start my own business which focuses on creating a sustainable future.
I believe that being part of the Youth on Boards programme will help with my leadership, business, and organisational skills, and I cannot wait to make a positive impact on our Marlborough region through this awesome initiative.
Katelin Livingstone (Year 13):
Hey there! I'm Katelin, I'm 17, and I'm very excited to be part of the 2018 Youth on Boards programme.
I'm an active supporter of the LGBT+ community and, as a citizen of the world, I do love a good beach clean up! I enjoy being about to help out within the community from selling poppies for the RSA and walking in the town's ANZAC day parade to helping out the prefect team at Marlborough Girls College with organising events and running interest committees.
I've had the opportunity to help lead the MGC Spectrum group, be a member of the senior school leaders group, be a Tuakana (big sister/mentor), and I was a member of the MGC Jazz Ensemble performing at Southern Jam.
I love tramping, chilling with my dog, and I'm trying my hand at some gardening! I can't wait to meet some new people and to see some exciting new stuff get underway in Marlborough.