inspire [in-spahyuh r]
verb (used with object) in-spired, in-spir-ing
1. to give someone the desire, confidence or enthusiasm to do something well
the teacher inspired the students with her enthusiasm
2. to produce or arouse (a feeling or thought etc)
to inspire confidence in others
About Inspire - Youth Empowerment Programmes!
"EMPOWERiNG YOUNG PEOPLE TO SHiNE WiTH THEiR BRiGHTEST LiGHT!"
iNSPiRE delivers quality, engaging and interactive school holiday programmes, after school sessions & one-off workshops to young people aged 6-14 years old. An alternative form of childcare, iNSPiRE aims to promote and develop personal skills and positive well-being habits in small groups creating a safe space through a holistic style of teaching.
The combination of her experiences has helped Kirsty align her vision for what she has ignited with iNSPiRE; being passionate about empowering young people in Queenstown Lakes to grow, shine and develop into confident, well-rounded individuals and give them the tools to promote calm in today's busy world and navigate society as they grow up.
The open-minded sessions smash stigmas and encourage mindfulness, cultivate creativity, and compassion for themselves and others. Our aim is to nurture the emotional intelligence skills needed to empower young people to thrive in today’s world through gratitude and reflection journaling, mindfulness and meditation exercises and learning through games.
Where it began...
iNSPiRE kicked off in Queenstown in January 2019 when Kirsty led 4 weeks of school holiday programmes to two age groups of young people (aged 6-10 and 10-14); every week was a great success and the kids loved the alternative and holistic style of learning. Each session was engaging, challenging and left time for reflection.
Kirsty is very creative and loves young people to learn through games, words of affirmations/mantras, interactions with others and is keen to develop their awareness of ‘the bigger picture’.
Since then Kirsty has been running weekly after school sessions each term and week-long programmes during every school holiday plus a series of one-off days on teacher only days and sporadic weekend sessions.
What do the sessions involve?
Most of the sessions run with a similar structure so we can create consistency around positive well-being habits and hopefully begin to enjoy/feel the benefits of meditation, the more we do it.
We start each programme with icebreakers and getting to know the members and different group dynamic. Someone is then asked to set the intention for the session - allowing them to think about the experience they want to co-create together.
The young people are introduced to meditation/finding calm and peace in their everyday lives and ‘3 things I’m grateful for’ then activities/games based on a particular theme e.g. compassion, resilience, being mindful, how to develop their creativity/imagination. For longer sessions in the school holidays we break up the days with a walk or a physical activity or game before we do another more learning-based activity. The young people are all given journals so they finish each session with a reflection of their day - usually completing three sentences in words or pictures eg. "something I’m proud of… a positive thing I saw today was...". We end with a closing circle and share some "I am" affirmations before we leave!
After each session Kirsty sends the parents/guardians a summary email so they can see what we have talked about and learned so it can be followed up at home, if wanted.
Kirsty feels there is great value in encouraging young people to feel empowered in who they are nowadays and fostering their skills and talents so they feel good about themselves! In this field of work she doesn’t believe there can be a specific or structured outcome – rather she sees this as more of a personal ongoing experience, similarly for all of us in life as we develop skills, tools and strategies to deal with things as they come along, but she really hopes that the young people involved in these programmes will feel a lot more empowered, aware of themselves and confident by the end of the week/term.
Kirsty is really passionate about creating a space that is intimate and welcoming where young people will feel at home and be open to their personal development. She is also keen for iNSPiRE to be accessible to all which is why, where possible, she will offer extended hours of childcare and pick ups.