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Nathanael's Story

Nathanael had been supported by Community Support Coordinator CCS Disability Action Tairawhiti/Hawkes Bay’s Dorothy Taare-Smith, “From the first time we met, I was impressed by Nathanael’s manners, his personality, enthusiasm and willingness to succeed. Nathanael told me he was passionate about working with youth and he was a youth leader at his church. He remained committed, reliable and always maintained a high level of professionalism and integrity during our three year interaction,” says Dorothy.

Not expecting to get a work opportunity in the disability community until he was much older, Nathanael saw his dream job advertised. Surprised to get an interview and a bit apprehensive, Nathanael seized the opportunity to convey his approach to the role.

“During the interview I was able to talk about my motivation for working with people, which is to restore mana; by helping people to reclaim sovereignty and self-belief in their own lives. This approach comes from having key people in my life restoring my mana and helping me to find my purpose. I hope in this role I can honour those people who had input into my journey; and give back to people.”

Nathanael’s well expressed methodology made him stand out among the other candidates as did his Diploma in Youth Work and previous experience volunteering at Te Ora Hou, a faith-based Māori youth and community development organisation.  And at just 21, Nathanael was elected to the Local Advisory Committee for CCS Disability Action Tairawhiti/Hawkes Bay. He was also open to working anywhere in the country.

Since starting at CCS Disability Wairarapa, Nathanael has had the opportunity to learn from colleagues at the Wellington branch and at the coalface with Masterton’s Jo Scott. Nathanael’s been busy introducing himself to the people he will be supporting and learning the systems.

 “Although I feel I’ve gone in at the deep end, I know I can swim,” he says.

Nathanael’s parents, Walton and Karen Sadlier couldn’t be more thrilled. “We’re really excited for Nathanael – this is a great opportunity for him as he’s worked hard to get where he is. Proud doesn’t describe the way we see Nathanael’s achievements and growth – it is way more than that. We knew he had the potential and to see him now ready to take on this new challenge, in a whole new environment, shows just how far he’s come,” Karen and Walton say.

While they know Nathanael was worried at first, and who isn’t when they start a new chapter in their lives, they say he has a good foundation, is willing to learn and has a heart for helping others. They also say they know Nathanael will be well supported in the CCS Disability Action environment.

Dad’s advice is that as he starts his new career; he doesn’t have to be the most knowledgeable; however he should always strive to be the most honest.

Mum’s advice? Remember who you are and whose you are.

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