AUT business and law student Charle Megala is looking forward to rubbing shoulders with the leaders of today and tomorrow as he begins his term on the US-NZ Youth Council.
The US Embassy in New Zealand Youth Council programme was started in 2010 by former US Ambassador David Huebner, as part of a network of similar groups in more than 60 countries. It aims to gather future leaders, between the ages of 18 and 25, to raise awareness and build stronger ties between the US and New Zealand.
Charle, who is also treasurer of the AUT Law Students’ Society, a member of the Management Consulting Club and the co-founder of IDScope, a student-run start-up aimed at eradicating fraudulent IDs, says the Youth Council is an opportunity to affect real change within society.
“It is a platform to ensure my opinions are challenged, and an incubator for ideas of change and prosperity.”
He says the most exciting aspect of serving on the Youth Council is the opportunity to connect with leaders, young and old, to share knowledge and experience around creating equal opportunities for New Zealand youth.
“Currently youth in lower socio-economic areas are experiencing a disparity in opportunity and it is preventing them from reaching their full potential. I hope to establish long-standing practices that can influence young people and encourage engagement in society,” says Charle.
AUT Business School lecturer, Dr Fiona Hurd, says Charle is an outstanding student, who displays exceptional leadership skills.
“During his involvement in Management Consulting Club, he has represented AUT both nationally and internationally, and has shown clear abilities to form networks with both fellow students and senior colleagues. He conducts himself with the highest level of professionalism, and has a clear appreciation for diverse values and perspectives.
“Charle is an exceptional choice for this role, and I have no doubt will be an excellent ambassador for both AUT and more broadly, New Zealand youth,” says Dr Hurd.
Charle says the culture of study at AUT encourages students to be thought leaders in the area of change.
“With such dynamic teaching practices I have full confidence moving forward I will be able to objectively analyse information and ideas.”
He also says his involvement in student clubs has given him the skills and confidence to present his ideas eloquently and in a persuasive and concise way – a necessity for the application process, which required a short, topical essay, plus 90 second video.
“Today’s generation of young people is the largest the world has ever known,” US Ambassador to New Zealand, Scott Brown told prospective youth councillors.
“They’re informed, engaged, empowered and excited to be the 21st century leaders and innovators the world needs them to be. The U.S. Government aims to engage young people in New Zealand to solve the pressing challenges of today, while also building greater connectivity and networks to shape the world of tomorrow.”
US Embassy in New Zealand Youth Council website