Our stories

Ascending the heights; Gold Awardee YouRim Kang


At our August Wellington ceremony this year YouRim, from Christchurch Girl’s High School, received her Gold Award, after progressing through Bronze and Silver levels. She has been a remarkable participant. Endorsed by her teachers, coaches, and supervisors in her efforts for the Award as diligent, faithful, hardworking, and kind. In her volunteer work with children, she demonstrated endless patience and rose to the challenge of teaching and engaging them despite the complexities of working with kids. In her Physical Recreation section YouRim aimed for the heights and ascended them. Quite literally as she improved her rock-climbing skills and took on a leadership role advocating for others to participate.

Throughout her Award journey she has transitioned from someone shy and cautious, to a leader who actively helps and supports others and shares her passions. In completing her Award, YouRim has blossomed and has fulfilled the Award’s greatest goal; to realise her potential. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Hillary Award is (in YouRim’s words) is, “life-changing and unforgettable.”

“I was challenged in every aspect and things I would never have imagined accomplishing, I found myself persevering and succeeding in. Furthermore, I was able to learn more about myself and my true capabilities. My mindset has greatly changed when faced with a challenge and my perspective has expanded from meeting so many different types of people. Although I only began this Award to have one more thing written on my transcript for universities, upon finishing I can most definitely say it is something much more and something that I will always remember for the rest of my life.”

For her Gold Residential Project, she attended The National Rotary Science and Technology Forum; designed for students to gain insight into potential study or career paths. For YouRim the forum, “showed us our capabilities as we were continuously challenged to extend our thinking and therefore experience a new level of thinking, preparing us for our futures.”

Creating paths to the future and igniting participants’ passions are at the heart of the Award. For YouRim the Award, and all the opportunities it creates, “changed who I am as an individual in ways that I could have never imagined, and I have benefited so much more from this experience than I could have ever asked for.”