Learning & Information | Rukuhia Te Puna Mātauranga

Asperger’s no excuse for Tauranga teen

Teenager standing in front of wall with signage for the United Nations

With close-cropped pink hair, Katherine Speidell is not afraid to be different.

It is yet another example of how Kat, as her friends call her, pushes boundaries as a young leader.

That ability saw her selected as one of 18 young people from Australia, New Zealand, and Asia to attend the 20-day Global Leaders Delegation throughout Europe starting on January 4, 2018.

At just 17 years old, Kat, now in her final year at Papamoa College in Tauranga as deputy head girl, was the youngest eligible age to take part in the delegation.

Up against masters students from universities all around the country, Kat didn’t think she had a chance at securing a spot in the delegation — not that she let that stop her from applying when she heard about the opportunity.

“I read through it and I thought: I don’t think I’m going to get into this, but I can’t not apply and know that I didn’t have a chance.”

Read more on the Altogether Autism website.

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