Noah Smith's journey from boat building at Warren Hay Marine to his transformative experience at the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) camp is truly inspiring.
Noah began his career in August 2021 when he completed his apprenticeship in Power Boat Systems Servicing & Repair. He then went on to do a second apprenticeship in Power Boat Rigging and in six and a half years progressed to a senior position within Warren Hay Marine.
Noah first learned about the Rotary Youth Leadership Award (RYLA) through a fellow apprentice who had participated in the program. He applied shortly before the deadline, encouraged by Chris van der Hor of MAST Academy. Both exciting and inspiring, Noah admits his time at the RYLA camp at Willow Park was life-changing. He described it as eye-opening, filled with unforgettable memories, and a great opportunity to meet like-minded people who shared his values. He had the privilege of hearing inspiring speakers, learning about himself, and stepping well out of his comfort zone.
Noah celebrated his birthday during the camp and had the honour of pouring a bucket of water over his head after walking to the summit of Rangitoto. Despite being away from loved ones, he cherished the experience and found it to be an incredible birthday celebration.
RYLA taught Noah many valuable lessons, including the importance of leaving one's comfort zone, embracing vulnerability, taking risks and accepting constructive criticism in order to improve. After the experience, Noah noticed positive changes in his approach to work and relationships. He was more motivated, engaged, and contributed more positively to various aspects of his life. One significant benefit of the RYLA camp was setting goals for the future, something Noah hadn't done before. Now, he is excited about pursuing and realising his dreams, which include traveling the world and establishing his own marine outfit in New Zealand.
Noah aims to make a positive impact on the global boating industry and the world around him. His journey is a testament to the transformative power of leadership development programs like RYLA and the impact they can have on individuals' personal and professional lives.