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Pinnacle Programme

HELPING OUR STARS SHINE

Pinnacle Programme is a youth development scheme created and sponsored by Hyundai NZ that handpicks aspiring young Kiwis and gives them the support to achieve their dreams. Maike van der Heide finds out more.

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race Wiegand is an artist who wants to help change the world. At just 17, the Nelson College for Girls head student and academic leader’s extensive list of achievements defies her young age, but her plans for the future are even bigger – and she’s already putting in the hard yards to make it happen. So it’s perhaps not surprising that when Grace applied to the Pinnacle Programme, her online application stood out. “Grace is one of the students where her application was unique and eye-catching,” says programme manager Bernice Mene.

Grace is in Stage One of Pinnacle’s three tiers, while fellow Nelsonian and artist Alice Reade is in Stage Two. Being accepted into the programme is an achievement in itself. Former netball star Bernice works her way through 200 to 300 applications three times a year, and presents a shortlist of about 20 to her selection panel to whittle down to six or seven, totalling around 20 inductees a year. That number is reduced to half for Stage Two, and then halved again. “The overriding attribute is a perseverance and attitude about how open they are to soaking up the extra support and skills [that Pinnacle offers], but also they have an X factor in terms of attitude and not being told to lie down; that they can’t do things,” says Bernice. Pinnacle was originally designed for aspiring sportspeople but has since expanded to include a multitude of other skills and disciplines. It doesn’t aim to hand out opportunities on a silver platter. “We’re trying to encourage the students to engage and for them to drive it.” Stage One of Pinnacle includes sailing aboard the Spirit of 39

Wild Tomato August17  

WildTomato is Nelson & Marlborough's magazine.We focus on inspiring journalism, stunning photography and beautiful design. www.wildtomato.co...

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