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Gaining Resilience through the Award

The Duke of Edinburgh Award encouraged me to be resilient. We have no control over the challenges life throws at us, but we have power to control how we respond to difficulty.

On my first overnight hike in Mt Ruapehu, we were nearing our campsite but had to "zig zag" our way over a ridge first. I was tired, my pack felt heavier than before and I was on the brink of an asthma attack. I had to sit down and just have a cry. But after that, I picked myself up and pushed on. I had no other option but to put one foot in front of the other to get to that campsite. The next day, we were singing like crazy while tramping without a care in the world.

The Award also taught me the value of continuously learning. Finding new skills that you enjoy, investing time and effort into practising and seeing the results of your personal growth is rewarding. Learning the piano not only taught me the technical skills of scales and sight reading, but also about discipline and the importance of hard work.

So how does that all fit into my life now? Earlier this year I returned from a semester abroad studying in Taipei, Taiwan on a Prime Ministers Scholarship for Asia. I had the chance to build on my Mandarin skills, volunteer at a local school and share New Zealand culture with them as well as explore the beautiful island country. The Award provided a strong foundation to go out and do all of these things. Now, I am in my final month of my Bachelor of Law and Arts degree at Victoria University of Wellington and am ready for the next challenge.

Mabel Ye, Gold Award Holder

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