Adobe Youth Voices (AYV) Investment Speech Kane Milne, Director of Learning Friday 15 August 2014 Firstly, I want to welcome you David. It was back in 2005, that you first came to visit us in what was then known, as the old school library. You were the minister of ICT at the time, so a lot has changed for both you, and us as an organisation. This year we celebrate our tenth year anniversary, and it’s a milestone that is nice to achieve, but it was never a goal. Our goal, our purpose, is to allow the youth of Otara, and our families, to reimagine a new future. It was perhaps naive to think that as an organisation, our community would support us in reimagining our own future as well. We never dreamed in those early days that we would get to help communities from Dunedin to Hawaii reimagine their futures too, but we knew our community had the capacity for great things. We never dreamed we would get to send youth from Otara, to Stamford University, and Santa Clara University, to work with other youth from around the world, but we knew our kids had unlimited and untapped potential. And we never dreamed that we would get to partner with industry giants such as Microsoft and Adobe, but we believed if we could share our hearts, then the industry would walk along side us. And we have done that by staying positive, by understanding the strengths our cultures and communities have, by struggling together, and by not focusing on what we might lack, but instead on what we do well. A few of things that we do really well is tutu, imagine, and tell stories. In 2007 we were invited to be a trial site for a fairly new initiative by the Adobe Foundation, called Adobe Youth Voices. Through this initiative, Adobe provided us with software and some training, and basically said “go and create some media”. So we did. We tutu’ed, we imagined and an amazing thing happened. One of our youth members named Ofoi created a story about poverty. That story turned into lyrics which then became a song. And in 2008, with more tutu under our belts, we turned that song into a video. Because of that video, that 14 year old girl went on to be selected to attend the very first Adobe Youth Voices Summit in 2009, at Stamford University in San Francisco. She went on to lead an amazing group of young people who kept producing outstanding videos, and is now, in her final year of a Bachelor of Communication degree at Auckland University, majoring I might add, in politics. So this early partnership from Adobe, with a small organisation in Otara, New Zealand, combined with the imagination and creativity of the youth in this community, has worked to let them develop the creative confidence to not only reimagine their futures, but to follow it as well. It is because of this, and so many other stories just like it, that I am extremely proud to announce that the Adobe Foundation has invested $75,000 in addition to over $250,000 that they have provided to High Tech Youth, for the Adobe Youth Voices programme to continue to grow in New Zealand and the Pacific. This investment is being used for new equipment, training, developing, collaboration and assessment tools, and allowing communities to get together to showcase the awesome media and stories produced by our youth. On top of this, Adobe is investing in software licenses for High Tech Youth Studios and partner schools, so the same opportunities we have, can be shared even further. Ten years ago we may never have dreamed we would be standing here today. Adobe may never have dreamed that their initial partnership in 2007 would have such a profound impact. Ofoi may never have dreamed that she would be the first Tongan Prime Minister of New Zealand, but all of us believed in the capacity of our kids and our communities to achieve great things. And through partnerships such as this, faith, and the hard work and support of all of us, achieving great things is exactly what we are doing. Thank you.
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