Aroha was the head girl of her school and is now a champion for youth leadership in the Far North. She is from three of the most beautiful valleys called Otaua, Taheke, Waima and grew up in Otaua. She was born with a form of dwarfism called Achondroplasia and developed spinal stenosis at the age of 8 which left her in a wheelchair. She is studying design, economics, and law at AKAU in Kaihoke. A keen painter, Aroha spends much of her free time with a brush in her hand and loves admiring art as well. One day she hopes to have her own business or to be a teacher, maybe even both.
At 19, she has a pretty strong sense of self and an even more determined mindset. She believes that wherever your start in life, bottom or top, you can do whatever you aspire to do as long as you believe in yourself. When she’s not studying, painting or volunteering, she’s reminding others to never give up.
This talk is from Festival for the Future 2018. Website – festivalforthefuture.org.nz