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When it comes to recounting their lives so far, Jade Nicholson and Zane Clifton-Clark are blunt.
"I was quite naughty. I wagged a lot of school and I got involved with the wrong crowds," Jade says as Zane nods in agreement.
"I was in the same boat as Jade," he says.
But the 17-year-old Logan Park High School Services Academy pupils have made changes in their lives which have brought them social and academic success.
And because of this turnaround, the pair were recently selected to attend Blue Light New Zealand's first International Youth Leadership Programme.
About 40 young people from New Zealand, Australia and the Solomon Islands will come together for a week-long residential programme facilitated by Blue Light in partnership with the New Zealand Police.
The programme will start at the Police College in Wellington on November 18 and, over the following five days, they will be involved in a range of activities covering leadership training, drug and alcohol education, community service, goal setting, outdoor education, personal and career development as well as cultural experiences.
The course will move from Wellington to Rotorua before finishing up in Auckland at the New Zealand defence force base in Hobsonville later in the week.
Blue Light chief operating officer Brendon Compton said today's youth faced several challenges, including within their families, socially and from their peer group.
"For a variety of reasons, young people with talent in sport, the arts and academia often don't reach their potential, both in their work life and personal life.
"This course is to develop selected young people to become tomorrow's leaders and think about their life in an international context."
Mr Compton said the aim of the programme was to provide those with leadership potential the opportunity to participate in a residential-based programme, removing them from the distractions of modern life such as cellphones, ipods and PlayStations, and help them to reach their full potential.
"Many of those chosen have overcome significant challenges in their personal lives and being selected on this programme is the opportunity of a lifetime," he said.
Zane and Jade were delighted to have been selected, and believed it was reward for working so hard to turn their lives around.
Jade recently achieved NCEA level 1 and plans to become a freezing worker next year, while Zane was in the process of passing NCEA level 2.
He plans to pass level 3 next year before embarking on a career in the New Zealand Army.