The outgoing chief executive of Seed Waikato, Gemma Major, says she is proud of what the organisation has done since launching in 2017 and says it has been a privilege to see how powerful young people can change their world from inside out when they own their gifts and strengths.
Founded in 2017, Seed Waikato is a charity that provides personal growth opportunities for young people in the Waikato.
Working mostly out of Hamilton, it runs monthly community workshops, creates digital content aimed at growing resilience, facilitates volunteer experiences and builds leadership capability.
She said the organisation worked extensively with youth in the regions.
One example was the support it gave to Waipā candidates Cassidy Temese and Dan Armstrong during the 2019 local body elections.
During her time at the helm, the co-founder and youth advocate has helped create 12 community-led projects, reaching thousands of Waikato youth both online and in person. She has also been a critical driver in partnerships created between Seed Waikato and community funders, business sponsors and event partners that help the charity do its work.
“I am excited for the future of Seed Waikato,” said Gemma. “In the last six months alone, we have doubled our staff numbers and doubled the funding received from supporters.”
She steps down on July 31 to spend more time with family and study trauma, while continuing to mentor self-starters on the side.
Seed Waikato chairman Greg Johnston said the charity was in a strong position to continue its long-term strategy to support young people in the community.
He described as ‘incredible’ the impact made by Gemma, saying it spoke to what the organisation was set up to achieve. He said Seed Waikato had recently secured a multi-year funding pipeline from Hamilton City Council, Trust Waikato, Len Reynolds Trust, and the Ministry of Youth Development, amounting to $660,000.
Coming in as CEO is Tania Pointon. She has co-led Hamilton Multicultural Services for the past 12 years and joined Seed Waikato in March.
“It is a privilege to be entrusted with the leadership role for Seed Waikato and build off the incredible work everyone has done to date,” she said.