Otara youth leaders go to Boston

Three teenagers from Clubhouse 274 will attend the global Teen Summit

Three teens from the Clubhouse 274 in South Auckland, have been chosen to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, for the global Teen Summit, hosted by the Intel Computer Clubhouse Network. The youth leaders, who were chosen for their leadership skills, technical and creative ability, and contributions to their community, are joining 300 others from 20 countries in Boston in August. The youth leaders are Kataraina Lio, 14, from the Te Whanau O Tupuranga School; Lars Malungahu, 14, and Ofoi Tamumoelau, 14, both of Clover Park Middle School.

Clubhouse 274 is a partnership between the New Zealand Computer Clubhouse Trust and the two Otara schools — Te Whanau O Tupuranga and Clover Park Middle School. Some of the initiatives of the project are building a purpose-designed Computer Clubhouse; installing fibre into Otara; a free wireless network to households around the school; and a social networking software project between Auckland University and Clubhouse youth called “The Haps”. The project also provides free low-cost laptops for young people and their families through the Intel Classmate Laptop programme.

At the Teen Summit, each of these youth “ambassadors” will share ideas, learn new skills, and work together on design projects that address socially conscious challenges from a community perspective.

“This will be an opportunity for our young people to express their ideas on issues facing our own politicians and communities, such as youth gangs and urban violence, using high-end technologies, including graphic design, animation, digital art, music, radio and video documentaries, and 3D modelling,” says Kane Milne, director of Clubhouse 274.

Most summit activities will be held at the Northeastern University and the Museum of Science in Boston, but the Summit will also host a “Clubhouse-to-College and Career Fair", where delegates will explore career options, interact with local college representatives and meet professionals working in a variety of fields, including engineering, publishing, animation, writing, production, programming, and photography.

“The Clubhouse allows me personally to just be creative with my ideas”, says 14-year-old Ofoi Taumoelau. “What I like about the Clubhouse is that I get to write and record my own songs.”

Taumoelau has been a member of Clubhouse 274 since 2006. “The best thing I like about Clubhouse is that you never say something is impossible. The things you think are impossible are possible in the Clubhouse.”

The Otara youth leaders leave on August 2 for the Teen Summit, which begins August 5 and ends August 10.

The Intel Computer Clubhouse Network is a creative out-of-school learning environment, now in it’s 15th anniversary year, where young people from under-served communities work with adult mentors to explore their own ideas, build confidence, develop skills, and find pathways to success through the use of technology. The programme was founded in 1993 by the MIT Media Lab and the Museum of Science in Boston.

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