In her fourth year at the Great Potentials Foundation, Alesha continues to excel as a SWiS (Social Worker in Schools). She enjoys engaging with the students and finds immense fulfillment in her role. The opportunity to witness the growth and development of the young students adds a special and rewarding dimension to her work.



Tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Great Potentials Foundation.

I grew up in Papakura and Takanini as a child and teenager. I am happy to now be working in the community as a SWiS (Social Worker in School) at Cosgrove School. I am a mother of two and have a passion for working with and supporting children and their whanau.

I graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree from The University of Auckland in 2016. In 2017, I began my social work career at Oranga Tamariki, where I worked for two years. I moved on to Great Potentials in June 2019 and have been working as a SWiS for four years, and I absolutely love it.


What is a typical day at your job?

I provide individual support for children at Cosgrove School. This includes helping children manage social and emotional difficulties. I coordinate with other services to ensure the right support is being put in place for children and their whanau. Another aspect is giving advice to whanau about services and support options and making referrals to our internal counselling services.

I also run group programmes including Seasons for Growth, iBox2 and Anger Busters. These programmes help children who need specific support dealing with issues such as grief and loss, building confidence and discipline in girls through an introduction to boxing, or controlling anger by developing alternative responses and understanding the consequences of negative behaviour.

Alesha and her students at iBox2


What do you love the most about your job?

I love interacting with the children every day and getting involved in the activities occurring within the school, for example, school cross country, visits from Harold, and watching the children perform in their cultural groups. I also love seeing the growth and perseverance of the children for whom I provide individual support.


Could you please share a special story during your time in your role?

I worked with a child for three years around managing anger. When I first met them, they struggled to manage their anger and allowed it to take control. We worked together on ways to walk away from triggering situations. Seeing them grow and learn to use the strategies was incredibly special and unforgettable.