50 stalls so far for youth expo

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ALEXIA.JOHNSTON

@alliedpress.co.nz

Plans for a Central Otago youth expo are gaining traction.

The event, at The Cellar Door on August 26, has attracted more than 50 stallholders who will share their advice and knowledge with young people throughout the day, from 10am.

Youth coach Deb Drake said the event, a first for the Alexandra and District Youth Trust, would benefit people aged between 10 and 24.

The event would also be open to the wider public from 3pm.

The response from local clubs, community groups and education providers wanting to showcase what they had to offer had been overwhelming, she said.

“We’re thrilled there’s such a lot of people wanting to be involved and [who want to] show young people what they have to offer. This is just our starting point,” she said.

Among those sharing their knowledge will be Damian Scarf, who is the head of the Adolescent Behaviour and Child Development Lab at the University of Otago.

A short bio of Dr Scarf, released by the Central Otago Youth Council, tells the story about his path to university.

It reads: “In his last year of high school he failed the three subjects required for university entrance, failed year 12 math for the second time and forgot to turn up to his correspondence course exam. When he finally made it into university to major in zoology, he added in a psychology paper ‘because I was told it had a multi-choice exam and therefore was easy’.”

However, fast forward a few years and Dr Scarf is now a senior lecturer in the department of psychology at Otago University.

His research includes interventions aimed at improving achievement and investigating the impact of social media on mental health.

Others attending the expo include members of the Alexandra Judo Champ Academy, Alexandra Shotokan Karate and representatives of the Ministry of Education.

The Central Otago Youth Council will also have a meeting on site in the early evening.

The aim of the expo was to introduce groups, services and people who are available to youth within the community.