Blue Mountain College pupil Olivia Crawford, 17, has been selected for the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award Aotearoa NZ/Hillary Award 2022 Leader of the Year.
She was chosen from pupils throughout New Zealand who take part in the awards.
Olivia said she was “quite chuffed” to be acknowledged for her contributions to her community.
“I thought it was cool to be picked out of a hat at first, but then I was informed by my mum that I actually wasn’t selected by random and I’ve been selected specifically,” she said.
The award is one of five presented.
Olivia contributes to her community with her leadership as chairwoman of the Gore District Youth Council, of which she has been a member since year 8 and chairwoman of for two years.
She serves on a range of school committees and is a house group leader for her school.
Gore District Youth Council co-ordinator Mark McCann said Olivia was an “outstanding leader of the Gore District Youth Council”.
She was elected chairwoman of the council in 2021 and as a result of her dedication to the role was re-elected for 2022, he said.
She has been a role model for the rest of the youth council, attending and leading all meetings, conferences, planning, organising and attending youth council-led events and providing guidance to the other youth councillors, he said.
“She is very proactive in proposing ideas, initiatives and projects and then implementing them for the better of youth and the wider community.
“We congratulate her and thank her for all her hard work,” Mr McCann said.
Olivia plans to attend Lincoln University when she finishes school to pursue her dream of farm management on a sheep and beef farm.
“My dad said as long as I learn the core aspects of farming then he’s happy,” Olivia said.
She will attend a ceremony in Dunedin to to receive the award.