08 Jul Unitec evaluation on the Challenge Award

How does the William Pike Challenge Award help young people?

Researchers at Unitec have uncovered the benefits of the William Pike Challenge Award! Their new study evaluated the William Pike Challenge Award and how it develops youth in a positive way. The study looked at how the Award grows skills, builds good relationships and helps young people to get involved and lead. The researchers focused on confidence, competence, connection, caring, character and contribution. These ‘Six Cs’ are used around the world to measure the effectiveness of youth programmes.

WPCA builds competencies

WPCA builds social, academic and thinking skills, and helps prepare kids for careers. The study found that “These competencies were especially observed in young people who may have initially been more reserved, or whose strengths may not always be visible in a school setting.” That’s pretty cool, right!

WPCA helps grow students’ confidence

Students learn to believe in themselves when they take part in the Award. According to the study, students develop ‘belief that they can achieve’ when they try new things. Completing activities in the programme is a source of pride for students. And for the WPCA team! We know how important confidence and self-belief are to success in life.

The programme helps build connections

The Award helps young people build stronger connections with peers, whānau, school and the community. Passion projects and community service get students involved with others. The outdoor activities mean students get to know their peers and teachers in a new environment, so they can relate to each other in different ways.

Caring and compassion play a role in WPCA

Cooperation is particularly important for outdoor activities in the William Pike Challenge Award. Students learn about reciprocity – taking turns. Community service is way for students to give back through the Award. The researchers found that the programme helps young people understand and respond to other people’s needs. In other words, it builds empathy.

WPCA develops character

Growing skills, confidence and care can help young people build their character. The programme develops a person’s understanding of what is right and wrong, and become aware of different perspectives. It also develops tenacity and resilience – character building at its best.

‘Pikelets’ contribute

Researchers found that young people who take part in the William Pike Challenge Award enjoy giving back. Community service allows young people to experience the satisfaction of contributing. Many students want to keep volunteering even after they’ve achieved the Award. Teachers say this is one of the reasons why young people who complete the William Pike Challenge Award often go into leadership roles.

So, what do you think?  We’d love to hear about positive youth development in your community.

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