Success Stories


All names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals

Marcus, aged 14 from Auckland had been staying in a boy’s home and attending counselling to address his persistent drug use from age 14.  Before being referred to the Silver Fern MotorSport Youth Training & Mentorship Programme, he had started thinking about quitting the drugs but struggled to do it.  In April 2013, Marcus was referred to the Silver Fern programme by his Social Worker.  This is where his life started to change for Marcus. Something clicked in his head during the first week on the programme, and he woke up to his reality that he had to stop using the drugs.  Marcus didn’t want a career as a mechanic, but he had a keen interest in cars and enjoyed working on them.  He had an idea of becoming a Youth Worker, and also wanted to study health and nutrition.  During the programme Marcus worked on his goal setting plan which showed him the steps he needed to take to achieve his goals. He still has his goal setting plan on his bedroom wall and looks at it everyday when he gets up in the morning.  During attending the course, Marcus become highly motivated to stop using drugs and keep out of trouble. He did exactly that and has kept out of trouble, and hasn’t smoked or taken drugs since then. 

Since completing the programme with Silver Fern MotorSport, Marcus has been attending an Alternative Education programme. So far he has achieved over 30 NCEA credits, and his goal is to reach 80 by the end of 2014. He will then apply to Unitec to study a Foundations Course in Health and Nutrition.  He has chosen this path as he wants to have a focus to inspire other youth with is story.  

From his experiences and studying, he now realises how his drug taking had had on his ability to learn at school before becoming clean. He is proud of himself for the changes he has made and his family are wrapped about his progress. His mum claims that she didn’t believe he had it in him, and he has surprised himself with what he has achieved. Marcus has also joined a Church and now works as a Youth Leader, taking part in motivation speeches to other young people. He has made some good friends and his commitment to the church has helped keep him on track.  Marcus looks back on the Silver Fern MotorSport programme as being the start of change for him and thought the programme was an awesome experience, and he would do it again given the chance.


Dave, aged 14 from Auckland, was referred to Silver Fern Motorsport Youth Training Programme in November 2012 by his cousin after trying everywhere to get support for him to get him back on track. Dave had a long list of minor offences and was not attending school or in any form of education when he came to the Programme. Dave had previously attended a number of schools, but had been excluded due to disruptive behaviour and absenteeism.  Dave’s cousin has heard about the Silver Fern MotorSport programme through an agency and made contact with the Programme Manager to see if he could get a placement. He was interviewed first as apart of a pre-screening process and during that interview showed a keen interest in motorbikes and mechanics. He was subsequently accepted on the programmeDave completed the entire course and learned quickly a lot of new skills he hadn’t previously had the opportunity to experience. He also learned how to use a range of hand tools, and how to use them correctly.  Dave also worked on his goal setting plan during the course and it was there that he set himself a long term goal to become a mechanic. 

After completing the Silver Fern MotorSport programme, he was provided on-going support to get enrolled into Regent Training, an accredited provider of automotive training. An exemption was also obtained from his school due to his age.  Dave has since completed the 12 month automotive training course at Regent Training and applied for further training at Unitec to become an Automotive Mechanic. He was accepted into Unitec and has started his training. As a part of his training he has also secured a work placement with an Automotive Repairer where he is gaining practical work experience. Dave credits the changes in his life to completing the Silver Fern Motorsport Programme. When Dave met with the Programme Manager to share his story, he said “we changed his life, and if he had continued the way he was he would be in jail or dead.” 


Trent from Auckland city was 15 years old when he was referred to the Automotive Youth Training programme by his youth justice social worker. He had had a short history of offending and was involved in the youth justice system for a few months and was wanting to make changes in his life.  Trent showed throughout the programme had a positive attitude with an increase of confidence and interest into making positive change.  He had been inspired by one of the young people that attended our programme a couple of years ago who has completely turned his life around and whom he knew from outside of this programme whom he looked up to and would like to follow his example with the right support and mentoring.   This young man wanted to follow this example and set out in his goal plan to get his driving licence, his site safe certificate and make a CV so that he can look for some part time work and would like to focus on the construction industry.  During one of the follow ups with the youth worker, Trent mentioned that he was still needing to complete community work hours and was needing some support to find a placement. Silver Fern Motorsport were able to support him and offered some work to do with our organisation which enabled this young man to complete all his hours.  In just over six months of completing the programme, Trent has completed all his court matters and receiving a discharge from the youth court, he has passed his learner licence and has been employed full time in construction work.


Luke was 17 years old from Auckland that was referred to Silver Fern MotorSport Charitable Trust Youth Training Programme by a social worker from a community based project.  This young man had been out of mainstream school for a long time and had a history of unsuccessful experiences with education and disclosed to staff on the programme that he could not read and write.  Our programme provides practical based learning and the young people do not even have to pick up a pen during the 10 days which Luke was really happy about.  Since finishing our programme he has been attending a literacy course and with the support from his family, another course provider and his social worker have found some options for him to look for work and further training providers.  Six months after completing the programme at Silver Fern MotorSport, Luke has completed a few weeks work experience in a construction labouring job, has attended another literacy and numeracy course and is now training to work in security.


Rangi was a 15 year old young man living in Auckland was referred to the Automotive Youth Training Programme by the Alternative Education course that he was attending.  This young man came to the Programme with a cheeky attitude and likes to show off to others, but did show that he does have the potential to work well especially when he is focused and working in a small group.  During the goal setting task on the Programme, Rangi said that he would like to be mechanic and with support from staff at Silver Fern MotorSport has outlined a clear goal plan of how to progress his career into this industry. After completing the Automotive programme, Rangi returned to us to participate in our pilot programme “Getting Started” which was an intensive work ready programme.  He completed a CV, took part in the job preparation workshop, got a new birth certificate, opened a back account and applied for his IRD number.  Since completing both programmes with Silver Fern MotorSport, Rangi has now turned 16 years old and graduated from his education programme and enrolled onto a further training course to study Automotive to work towards gaining his NCEA Level 1 and 2.


16 year old Kris had been attending high school in Auckland but had been struggling with attendance and really wanted to leave.  He was referred to the 10 day Foundation Automotive Programme by the school to help him to get motivated.  Kris was lacking motivation at the start of the programme but was keen to try out all of the activities.  He also lacked confidence yet this increased throughout the programme as he got to participate in practical mechanical tasks in a small group with other young people.  He enjoyed learning new skills and liked the practical work.  During the Programme he was supported by staff to complete a goal plan sheet, where he identified that he wanted to train as a mechanic, he was keen to enrol onto a further training course to study automotive.  From the programme, Kris shared in the programme evaluation that he really enjoyed his time with us because he felt that he was understood by staff and with the support to gain more confidence because he was encouraged and felt someone believed in him.  After completing the programme, Kris has continued to attend school and has been taking part in further work experience and is looking forward to starting the next automotive course.


Sio was 15 years old from Auckland when he was referred to the Automotive Youth Training Programme from his youth justice social worker and his lay advocate.  Sio had been appearing in the Pacifica court and was working on his court plan during the time he attended this programme.  He was a fairly quiet young man who took pride in his work, showed interest in learning about cars and mechanics and he was also a keen rugby league player.  He is passionate about sport and he plans to progress his life with a career in sport yet also really enjoys learning about cars and mechanics.  Sio worked well in a team with the other young people and particularly enjoyed the challenge of taking tyres off a cars and putting them back in a fast time to compete with both staff and other young people.  After Sio completed this programme he started attending an Alternative Education course and wanted to gain some NCEA credits.   Six months since finishing the programme with Silver Fern MotorSport, Sio has had great attendance at his course, played the season for his local league club under 16’s team, and been discharged from youth court.  He has also completed Silver Fern MotorSport Getting Started pilot work ready course recently and achieved all the task finishing with a CV, opening a bank account in his own name, get his IRD number, and passed a first aid certificate. 



Feedback Comments on our Programme....

"I just want to thank you for giving me this opportunity to participate in this Automotive Motorsport course, I have really enjoyed getting to know you guys and learning more about tools and cars.  I really loved it, thanks".  J.H

"This course was very good 100%, I liked heaps and I learned heaps about what I wanted to learn (e.g things about cars)".  S.T

"I enjoyed most of the activities, learnt a lot from Ted.  My best day was the final day when we went to the Blastacars Drift Karts and I also like working on the Toyota engines".  S.K

"This course is cool ! It taught me a bit more about cars".  M.K

"The service was good, I like the education and having food every break.  It was a safe, fun environment and I learnt a lot about cars for e.g using the tools and how to check if there is a problem in the car".  F.C

“Ted and his colleagues have transformed many lives, and at the very least have upskilled hundreds of young people” Youth Advocate, Auckland

“After initially having first day nerves and little confidence….he increasingly became more confident and enjoyed his time…It has made him realise in many ways that there are caring people out in the community who believe in him and I personally can’t thank you all enough for your encouragement, support and belief in him”. Mother of 16 year son who completed programme

“He enjoyed every second and is in high praise about you and your team”. Mother of 17 year son

“..Great programme you run and how the young people who are lucky enough to attend, are given such a positive experience.  Thank you, and Ted, so much for continuing to run the programme.” Youth Health Worker

“He loved the course, been inspired and gained more self-confidence.” Parent of son who attended programme

"He learned about engines, including V8, brakes, and panel beating.  He serviced and tested go-karts, visited Hampton Downs race track and visited Auckland Car Club.  Needless to say everyday was full of interest and new experiences that captured his imagination, as well as boosting his self-esteem”. Father of 15 year son who attended programme

“The influence of yourself and your team has made a huge difference in a number of our students’ lives and given them a direction and hope for the future.” Learning Advisor, Auckland

“Ted thank you for your massive impact in my son’s life and taking the role of mentoring on as well.  You are a saint and you have a very positive way of working with him!” Mother of son who completed programme

“…had reached the age of 19 without any clear career goal ahead.  He went along to the course and loved it!  The people at Silver Fern MotorSport treated him exceptionally well, and were very positive in their delealings with him.  This positive, supportive environment gave him a lot of confidence…” Teacher of student referred to programme

“Being on the course improved his confidence.  Ted is a very caring person and he made everyone feel comfortable and that they were all important.  Showing … a career path he could go down was brilliant.” Mother’s feedback to son’s teacher

Grandmother’s feedback on programme: “A big thank you for the programme that my grandson attended in the last two weeks, it did wonders for us a different kid, he cannot say enough about the course, he is actually communicating with us all and his mum at the moment (that has been hard work in the past).”