Earlier this month, we hosted our end-of-year MATES Senior Graduation Dinner at Alexandra Park. It was a celebration of the success and achievements of 75 Year 13 students from five MATES secondary schools, along with their mentors.

MATES Mentees from Auckland Girls Grammar School

During the dinner, we had a couple of mentors and mentees who shared their experiences about MATES on stage. Samantha Nia, a MATES mentor, says it was an honour to be a part of MATES.

“Seeing the mentees work independently and set goals for their future was very inspiring. MATES has taught me how to adapt to different environments to cater to different people. The mentees have taught me resilience and the importance of nurturing relationships with the people around you.”

Samantha Nia, a MATES mentor at Sir Edmund Hilliary Collegiate


Then we had a few performances and a haka to finish the night.

Performance by mentees from Southern Cross Campus

What our MATES Senior Mentees 2022 say about MATES

 “Throughout the year I attended MATES, my mentees have helped me a lot because if it wasn’t for them, I wouldn’t understand the criteria I needed for university. Recently I received the good news that I can study at the University of Canterbury on a 5-year scholarship.”

“One thing that I will remember most is the friendship that is being built out of MATES. My favourite thing is being able to be taught by another student. It is a different level of understanding because they are also students. And when they are explaining the work, it is like your friend is explaining it, you can understand.”

“MATES has helped me build myself and find my dream career which is to become a doctor. I am thankful for all the help from MATES, because you could find comfort in making new friends as well as learning something new. It's amazing to hear about the experiences of alumni, so I'm very grateful for everything they have done & provided to ensure that we are set for our future careers. Thank you MATES.”

Congratulations again to all MATES Senior Mentees 2022, and a massive thank you to the MATES Mentors, teachers and whānau.

We are also incredibly grateful for the support from the Friedlander Foundation, Joyce Fisher Charitable Trust, Merchant 1948, and all supporters.