Published: 24/11/2017
On those occasions Stacey made it to school, he was distracted, found it hard to concentrate, and frequently got in trouble with his teachers.

His behaviours at school reflected serious problems at home, including violence, abuse and long-term reliance on benefits.  

When Stacey found his way to Youth Service West his journey to change his life for the better began.

Stacey’s Kaitohutohu a Rangatahi (personal advisor) at Youth Service West worked with him to get his learner’s driver licence, join the carpentry academy at Massey High School and source financial support to pay the rent as he learnt new skills. Through the carpentry academy, Stacey gained NCEA Level 2, as well as achieving credits in Levels 3 and 4. He gained the necessary certificates to start a building apprenticeship with an Auckland-based construction company.

Stacey’s personal advisor connected him with the Charles Bennett Estate Fund through the Perpetual Guardian Trust, which awarded him a grant to fund the purchase of essential tools for his apprenticeship.

Stacey’s long term interest in carpentry and his eye for detail ultimately led to a permanent job with the construction film when his apprenticeship came to an end. One of the projects he worked on was even featured on TV show Grand Designs New Zealand.  

To Stacey’s relief and pride, his younger brothers now also want to be ‘tradies’.

“They see me succeeding and trying my hardest every day to get better, to show them what’s out there, so they’re following in my footsteps”, Stacey says.

Since finding Youth Service West and starting his job as a builder, Stacey moved back in with his family to do his bit and help out. They’re all getting along “pretty well now” and his parents have told him they’re proud of what he’s achieved.

“My future plans are to be my own boss, run my own company or become a construction manager and so far I’m on the way there. I want to give back to the academy at Massey High School, my boss and Youth Service West who all helped me get to where I am today. I’ve learnt that with hard work and determination you really can achieve your dreams.”

Youth Service West Service Manager Neil Brand said, “It’s been really great to see the changes Stacey’s made during his time working with his advisor here at Youth Service West. It’s encouraging to see how far he’s come, and we’re all looking forward to see where he ends up.”

If you live in West Auckland and want to see how Youth Service West can help you or a young person in your life, contact Youth Service West at