Sporting a bowl cut courtesy of his mother and feeling a bit awkward are two memories of Gore District Ambassador Tyler Dowling’s early life.
Speaking at the Gore Youth Awards on Saturday night, Mr Dowling gave an entertaining and touching account of his school days.
The 25-year-old told the audience a turning point came in his life when he won the Black Sheep Cultural Award at the youth awards in 2015 and 2016.
He was badly bullied at school, he said.
The best advice his mother gave him was just to persevere, advice that paid off.
“I didn’t fit in. I had pretty bad self-esteem,” Mr Dowling said.
He wanted to be accepted by his peers.
“As soon as I learned to hold on, I started to enjoy life again.
“The youth awards helped me gain confidence.”
Mr Dowling is embarking on a new career next year as a hairdresser.
He will be a salon assistant at Headhunters in Invercargill, where he will be based for his apprenticeship.
Gore Youth Awards
Gore District Council Good Sort Award – Nichol Reid.
Pakeke Lions U-Turn Health Award – Jock Davies.
Soroptimist International of Gore U-Turn Academic Award – Madison Robertson.
Gore Pakeke Lions Conqueror Award – Kaitlyn Robson.
Workplace Safety Southland Good Sport Award – Ashleigh Campbell.
Gore Blue Light Inspirator Award – Hope Williams.
Southern Wide Real Estate Black Sheep Sport Award – Paige Nicol.
Gore Paper Plus Black Sheep Culture Award Junior – Bonnie Miller and Macy Scoles.
Gore Musical Theatre Black Sheep Culture Award Senior – Kaitlyn Robson.
No 8 Wire Award – Alex Smith, Whiterig Vintage Machinery Museum president