‘Shine Bright’- Building confidence and resilience

Estelle Pape of The Flying Stylist, Priya Khanna, senior librarian Botany Library and Celeste Rogers, founder of Free2BeMe. Photo supplied,

The cold winter morning in Botany, didn’t deter 11 to 14 year old from lining up to attend the Shine Bright  holiday programme ‘I am Enough Sponsored Day’ at Botany Library.

Estelle Pape, founder of The Flying Stylist and Celeste Rogers, founder of Free2BeMe, were eager to take teens on a journey of self-discovery to find their inner strength and outer beauty.  The message: ‘You can be your best you. You can run your unique groove.  You are enough’.

With mental health continuing to be an important area of focus in New Zealand, Celeste says, “It starts with looking after our youth, making sure that they have the confidence, self-esteem and social skills to weather the storms of change that they need to cope with.”

She talks about behaviours like mood swings, anxiety, depression and eating disorders that can come to the fore when teens don’t feel comfortable in themselves and lack self-belief.

The initiative brought fashion, self-care and education together in a unique, entertaining, practical and fun way.

When Estelle and Celeste first approached Priya Khanna, senior librarian children and youth at Botany Library with the idea of a unique experience for teens, they found she shared their commitment for youth development.

Teens from west, north and east Auckland learned how to find their inner fashionista, tap into their genius/ potential, inner critic and fashion styling.

There was a dance-off (learning to think on their feet) followed by etiquette and a selection of the happiness mindset.

Hannah Mullany- an inspiring 16-year-old who is impacting NZ today with her work among refugees, was a prime example of altruism and making a difference at the workshop for teens.