Bright future for trio of young Kiwis

  • 21/04/2014

From Lydia Ko to Lorde, young Kiwis are attracting plenty of attention on the world stage. But they're not the only ones.

He's head boy at his school, but 12-year-old Tristan Pang says he's not so different from his friends.

"I still like the same things – it's just a bit of brain stuff."

That "brain stuff" earned the year eight student 96 percent in year 13 Cambridge maths.

"I think I've got kind of a bit of curiosity, and it drives me to challenge myself and explore new knowledge."

And he's so eager to learn more that this year he's become the youngest student studying maths at the University of Auckland.

"From a very young age I was very fascinated about the world," he says. "I was taking things apart and looking at how things work."

He wants to pass on his knowledge, launching Tristan's Learning Hub, an online learning centre for kids up to the age of 15.

Eventually he plans to use his talent in the science industry.

"I want to be a researcher and an inventor and a scientist to help the world, help with education, help with everything."

Andre Schellenberg also started young. At 12 years old he began restoring old computers and selling them.

"One man's junk is another man's treasure, and that's exactly what it was," he says.

In 2011 he launched Flexed, a bodybuilding apparel and accessory brand.

"At the gym you really do have to practise what you preach. If you're not following your diet or you're not training properly, you're not going to get the results – and it's kind of like business."

That dedication saw the 19-year-old named New Zealand's top student entrepreneur last year. It took him to Washington, where he met young business owners from around the world.

"You're the only one who can actually make your goals and your dreams come true, and no one else is going to do it for you."

Kristina Cavit is also on a mission to make dreams come true – only they aren't hers.

Her life changed during a backpacking trip in South America.

"I locked eyes with this girl who was only 11 years old and she was hanging off the arms of two men who were 20 and 30 years old," says Ms Cavit. "I got talking to her had found out that she'd actually been kidnapped by these guys and forced into cocaine addiction and prostitution.

"It was then that I decided I wanted to work with these kids, these kids who are being forced into slavery and living lives no child – no matter where they're born – should have to go through."

She's now set up a New Zealand branch of Nuestros  Pequeños Hermanos (NPH), a  not-for-profit organisation that runs orphanages for abandoned and at-risk children across Latin America and the Caribbean.

"It's actually really rewarding work. In some ways it's a bit selfish because I am doing something that I love so much."

And there's no chance of her slowing down. Ms Cavit has just made her way over to Peru with NPH volunteers to build new facilities for one of the charity's orphanages. 

3 News  

source: newshub archive