After 7 years serving at Zeal, Lehi Duncan (Zeal Hamilton manager) is moving on to become the Regional Relationship Manager for Waikato / BOP / Hawke’s Bay at the Ministry of Youth Development.
Beginning his work with us in Zeal Wellington as a volunteer youth worker in 2012, Lehi moved back to his hometown of Hamilton in 2016 to manage our newest Zeal centre at the time, Zeal Hamilton.
During Lehi’s time leading the Zeal Hamilton team, they received a number of awards (30 Under 30 award from Hamilton City Council, Social Enterprise / Youth Award from HBA in 2017, and Best Social Enterprise from HBA in 2018), ran a large number of successful youth events, saw hundreds of young people through their Creative Programmes, saw the launch of Street Youth Work in the CBD, opened the social enterprise Ward Lane Print Co., and strengthened stakeholder relations in the community.
Lehi’s relentless passion for young people, relationship-building skills and optimism for the future will be missed by the Zeal Hamilton team and the organisation as a whole. We wish him all the best for his future in making real societal change for the rangatahi of Aotearoa.
“We know that young people only live out the best story that’s available to them,” says Lehi. “At Zeal, we have always aimed to introduce rangatahi to a new story. The greatest youth work I have seen has been in the time taken day-by-day to listen and learn about the young person in front of us. It has been in the purposeful sharing of lives.”
“My time at Zeal has truly been life-changing. My heart has been broken over and over again by the struggles and hardship in so many of our young whanau members’ stories, and it has been healed again by seeing the bravery and passion each young person holds in overcoming the obstacles in front of them. I pray for the best for Zeal, and for the young people I have been privileged enough to call my family.”
Lehi’s last day at Zeal is Friday, April 26th.