Youth Spirit awards to duo who give back

Youth spirits . . . South Otago High School year 13s Mari Chacapna (left) and Fraser McAtamney received Youth Spirit awards at the Clutha District Council community service awards earlier this year. PHOTO: EVELYN THORN

Two of Clutha’s young people are showing the way in the community.

South Otago High School pupils Mari Chacapna and Fraser McAtamney received awards at the Clutha District Council community service awards, and they said their main goals were to give a hand to the community and help out ‘‘where they can, because they can.’’

Mari was the ‘‘overall winner’’ for the Youth Spirit award for her efforts within her school and community.

She has a major passion for the arts, all while enjoying choir and singing — she has participated in South Otago High School production shows and is a member of the South Otago Theatrical Society.

She is a member of school’s Student Council and Peer Support and volunteers helping at the Breakfast Club — providing breakfast to students.

She has also been involved in Environmental Club meetings, participated in the World Vision 40 Hour Famine and is part of the Queer Straight Alliance.

She has achieved her Duke of Edinburgh Bronze and Silver awards, and was also a Young Enterprise member and marketing manager. Along with this, she has a deep respect for caring for the aged and would like to work in a rest›home in Balclutha. She shows respect for her teachers and mentors, and values her schooling.

Mari outlined how grateful and appreciative she was of the award.

‘‘It was really weird to be recognised, because it’s just something you do out of your own willingness and spirit,’’ she said.

‘‘I’m so grateful to be acknowledged and I feel blessed to be seen for my efforts.’’

Fraser McAtamney received the ‘‘high calibre’’ for the Youth Spirit award for his leadership and community efforts.

Fraser represents South Otago High School as deputy head boy and organises and leads many student activities.

He is often the voice of the students on the student council — his election as deputy head boy reflects the standing he has among both students and staff.

He was the leader of World Vision 40 Hour Famine in2021, and was CEO of the Young Enterprise group Happy Hives, where they sold children’s activity books to educate the purpose of bees inthe community. Fraser is involved in the arts at school and is also an Otago Theatrical Society member.

He was proud to receive an award from the Clutha District Council.

Mari is going to Otago Polytechnic next year to study horticulture, and Fraser is attending the University of Otago to study science.

Both said they were still going to involve themselves in community projects, volunteer work and give back where they can.