Our MATES programme 2023 is all set to go, with the MATES Mentor 2023 Induction on the first day of April. This year we will work with approximately 150 students from 11 schools across Auckland.

Teri Fong joined Great Potentials Foundation as the MATES Programme Manager in January 2023. Alongside Teri are the incredible MATES Coordinators, Jessica, Hester and Maddy, who have been with MATES in the previous years.

MATES 2023 team: Jess, Teri, Hester and Maddy (from left to right)


Teri Fong, MATES Programme Manager

Before working at Great Potentials Foundation, Teri worked at the University of Auckland as a Schools Adviser, and Senior Schools Adviser with the Schools Partnership Office engaging with secondary schools and communities around the country.  

"MATES is a research-backed programme that increases academic achievement, raises aspirations and enhances self-confidence for young people who are at risk of underachieving.”

“To make things even better, I have an incredible team of Coordinators who are a group of incredibly enthusiastic, driven, dedicated wāhine who have been in the programme initially as mentors themselves. I have loved working with them thus far and look forward to a successful year ahead!”


Jessica Vea, MATES Coordinator

Jessica is studying for a Postgraduate degree in Creative Technologies at the Auckland University of Technology (AUT). "What inspires me to be a part of MATES, are the supportive relationships built within our teams and being able to guide our mentees during a crucial part of their educational journeys.”


Hester Acharya, MATES Coordinator

Hester is a Fine Arts and History student. "I joined MATES as a mentor because I felt it was a great way to continue to develop my passion for teaching and childcare. Through MATES I have discovered a passion for uplifting, empowering, and guiding children and youth.”

Maddy Jennings, MATES Coordinator

Maddy is a Psychology and Education student. "Enrolling in Education 200 was one of the greatest decisions I've made. Becoming a part of the team at MATES and working closely with Aotearoa's youth continues to be one of the best experiences to date. Creating meaningful relationships that enhance students' sense of belonging and potential makes this job very rewarding.”


We need more MATES mentors for 2023!

If you, or someone you know is at least 2nd Year in tertiary study in Auckland and available from 2- 3 hours per week, come and help us guide young people’s futures. This is a paid opportunity. Mentoring is highly rewarding and you’ll gain valuable work experience.



Mentoring and Tutoring Education Scheme (MATES) is a mentoring programme that addresses the underachievement in the education of disadvantaged youth by working alongside schools to connect tertiary student Mentors with student Mentees at key educational transition points in Year 8 and Year 13.

MATES Senior Schools 2023

Aorere College

Auckland Girls Grammar School (AGGS)

Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate

Southern Cross Campus

Tamaki College

MATES Junior Schools 2023

Avondale Intermediate School

Clendon Park School

Finlayson Park School

Henderson Intermediate School

Mangere East Primary School

Papakura Intermediate School