This story was showcased in our 2019/20 Annual Report
Grant funding to participate in a United Nations Leadership Tour has encouraged Summer Wynyard to put her leadership skills to use in supporting youth to find thriving careers, particularly in horticulture.
Summer, who is due to graduate as a Bachelor of AgriScience – majoring in Horticulture – in November, says the programme helped her to learn about the type of leader she wants to be. She is bringing her learnings to bear in her new role as student liaison with NZ Apples and Pears Inc – with a focus on bridging youth to opportunities in the horticulture industry.
“The Capability Development Grant funded my participation on the United Nations Leadership Tour that took me to San Francesco, Washington DC, New York City, and Boston in America, as well as Canada and Mexico,” she says.
“Without this funding I would not have been able to participate, so I see it as an investment in me and my passion to build capability in the NZ Horticulture Industry.
“The experiences and connections I made with my peers on the trip has encouraged me to build or support a leadership program that promotes indigenous youth in finding thriving careers, gaining international insight, and develops their skills – particularly in the horticulture sector.”
The tour focused on engagement with, and insight into, global businesses and innovative organisations. It also covered inclusion in cultural, social, and industry-related activities relevant to the cities visited, and which would provide leadership growth for NZ youth. The culmination of the trip saw the group participating in the Model United Nations Debate hosted by Harvard University, where Summer worked on the ‘World Trade Committee’.
“On this trip I connected with industry professionals, learnt more about world trade, gained confidence in speaking on an international platform and learnt the importance of critical analysis/reflection to develop my personal and professional leadership skills,” she says.
Summer completed her studies for her degree at home during the COVID-19 lockdown and plans to study for her Masters in the future.
“I hope that the learnings, networking and experience will help me decide exactly what I want to study my Masters in,” she says. “But I’m thinking a research degree, relating to science and/or Māori/indigenous studies. If you’re looking to gain insight into the social culture of another continent, its diversity and to better understand our place in this world I would recommend this trip.”
“Without this funding I would not have been able to participate, so I see it as an investment in me and my passion to build capability in the NZ Horticulture Industry.”