Trevor Katipa | Advanced Certificate in Information Technology
Trevor Katipa’s story started just like many of the students he now works with.
As a self-acknowledged trouble maker growing up, Trevor is quite frank about what his thoughts on the importance of education were during his formative years.
“School was really hard for me, I didn’t enjoy it at all, if someone had suggested I would be going back to school in my 30’s I probably would have given them a hiding!”
“My whakaaro (thinking) changed when I had my son Tainui. I thought ‘I have to get my act together and be responsible.’”
Now 12 years old, Tainui represents an incredibly positive infl uence in his Dad’s life. “Boy, it was a real struggle being a single parent, a stay-at-home Dad, I was doing some general labouring and things to bring some money in, providing for my son was, and always will be, my main priority.”
Trevor was walking through Manurewa one day and something drew him to the Quantum centre. “I was definitely at a crossroads, going through the motions in other areas of my life … I thought ‘what’s the worst that could happen if I just have a look?’
I went in to the centre and everyone was just so welcoming, I was greeted warmly and with respect and that really impressed me.” Post graduation, Trevor was offered a role that had been talked about for a while but the right candidate had not presented themselves.
“I was blown away. It was hard to believe at first, I took the Job Description home and showed it to my son and explained what I would be doing. We were both pretty stoked about it.”
As Student Liaison Officer, Trevor looks after the wellbeing of students at the Manurewa centre. They talk about any concerns or struggles they have, and their respect for him is a testament to how successful he is in a role where he continues to go from strength to strength.
“My message to these students is ‘Education is important, it’s as crucial as it gets’ … it’s easier for me to engage with them from a platform of shared experience and common understanding. It’s not so much that I’m a Maori, it’s that I look just like them with the tattoos and all. I’m relatable … I can look them in the eye and say ‘I’m just like you, so if I can do it, you can do it.’”
As a member of the Maori/Pasifika Advisory Group, his knowledge and experience within this community are often utilised in Intueri’s ongoing commitment to improve delivery to this under-represented demographic. “I love this job, the chance to share my passion and the opportunity to get paid for being me. “
As for the future, Trevor wants to continue helping to better the community and lives of the students in his care. His story started just like most of theirs, after all. What are his final thoughts for students?
“Be the best you can be, despite all the obstacles, act with diligence, persevere and live up to the aspirations of your tipuna (ancestors), and most of all … follow your dreams.”
Trevor is now training to be a Youth Guarantee tutor at Quantum.