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Anxious - but faith keeping Mangere NCEA student optimistic as results roll in

Alakihihifo Vailala

Faith is what’s keeping a high school student going during the anxious time of waiting for NCEA results.

Public Interest Journalism funded through NZ On Air

Juan Koti (Ngāti Maniapoto and Ngāti Hine) is in his last year of high school at De La Salle College in Mangere and has just completed his NCEA level 2.

“I’m feeling a little nervous about specific subjects,” he says. “But I do have my faith in God to know everything will be alright.”

More than 160,000 teenagers are receiving their NCEA results now, including exam grades for the 145,000 who sat exams at the end of last year.

In the most recent results, Koti passed level two with an excellence endorsement which he says he’s happy about but says there’s always room to improve.

Covid interfered

He says his journey hasn’t always been easy as he started his NCEA journey during the pandemic.

“I think what threw me off a bit in my first year of NCEA was the post-Covid 19 world where we had just come out of Covid and things were starting to get back to normal.”

However, Koti says his mind was set to excel in his academics, which he did passing NCEA level one with an excellence endorsement.

In his first year of NCEA, he completed level two maths passing with a merit endorsement.

Along with his academics, Koti is heavily involved within his school community and will be deputy head boy for 2024.

He is also a passionate and proactive member of the school’s debating team, in which he volunteers his time to coach the junior team and also volunteers his lunch times to tutor the year 7 and 8 mathex teams.

Inspired by his dad

“I really love teaching and I really love maths and showing that they can have fun with maths.”

He says he’s inspired by his father who is always willing to help and is also a te reo Māori teacher.

Koti shares a memorable moment in which his dad helped modify De La Salle’s school haka and helped students understand the movements and words.

“My dad is someone who has gone through a lot in his life. He has this unending motivation and fire in him that just keeps him going well.”

Looking at his future, Koti wants to study medicine in the hope of becoming a doctor to give back to his community.

“Ultimately, I hope to give back to my community. I would also like to help students, particularly those who may not see themselves in higher education.”

Koti says he wants to maintain his excellence endorsement streak in preparation for university next year.

Hero Image: Juan Koti Photo source: family photo

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