10 years of developing the Bay’s future leaders: Dale Carnegie


The 10th cohort of students from our local high schools has just graduated from the Acorn-sponsored, Priority One Instep-promoted, Dale Carnegie Skills for Success leadership course, bringing the total to 276 Western BOP students to have graduated since 2011.

The course itself is built around developing self-confidence, enhancing communication skills, developing people skills, building leadership capability, and increasing capacity to manage worry and stress. Instep works with school staff to encourage selected students to take up what is often a genuinely life-changing opportunity.

Olivia Simmonds, Tauranga Girls’ College student, was thrilled to have had the opportunity to participate, specifically mentioning the newfound confidence she has to speak in social situations and that the principles learnt, “would be useful for life both at uni and in the workplace.” Her advice to students offered the opportunity in future years was, “get involved in everything and don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone.” This was a common theme echoed by her fellow graduates.

Andrea and Michael Shaw, franchisees for Dale Carnegie in Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, have been involved in running these courses since inception and are gratified to continue to make such an impact on the lives of local students. This year’s course was facilitated by certified trainer Kat MacMillan, supported by 2019 course graduate, Sasha van Beek (also a graduate of Bethlehem College and now studying Food Marketing and Supply Chain Management at Lincoln University).

And the opportunity is all made possible by the generous support of Acorn Foundation – particularly the Roy and Mary McGowan fund – which subsidises almost the full cost of a student’s enrolment in the course, with two students from each of our eleven secondary schools funded every year.

Another stellar example of what can happen when our community comes together for the betterment of our rangatahi!