The end, but also the beginning
Written by Andrew Patterson
Posted Mon, 19 Mar: What an amazing week we had together!

We visited some of the worlds most influential businesses, we met some incredibly inspiring people, we experienced the generosity of spirit that pervades Silicon Valley and we formed new connections and friendships with each other and the people we met.

I've never been more proud of a group of young people who really embraced this opportunity 100%.

Each of you threw yourself into this trip to get the most out of what this unique, life changing experience had to offer. As a result, I know you have returned to NZ with a very different take on the world and your future career aspirations.

I know you will use this experience to not only benefit yourself, but also your friends and family, your schools as well as your communities. I encourage you to pay this experience forward and in doing so realise that you are repaying the generosity that Silicon Valley showed to each of you over this past week.

Thanks for being part of SV Experience 2016 and I'll sign off with some parting words for each of you:

Luke - Thanks for your great work building and maintaining this website. As the "elder statesman" of the group you demonstrated where hard work and commitment can get you. You have set yourself the audacious challenge of following in Christian Silver's shoes by becoming an intern in SV by 2018....a goal I fully expect you will achieve.

Maihi - I've seen a big change in you this week. The increased confidence and the conviction in your voice about your goals for the future has inspired all of us who have been fortunate to travel with you. You have a strong heart and real mana. Use this experience to follow in Lance O'Sullivan's footsteps and demonstrate to others by your actions how its possible to fundamentally change the course of your life. Kia kaha

Harrison - Whenever I see a picture or hear of Steve Jobs I will think of you wearing your black polo, jeans and SJ glasses at your pitch presentation! Your passion for technology is infectious. Never lose that and continue to be driven by what you can achieve in the future. I'm sure you'll end up working at Apple!

Liam - What a pleasure its been seeing you embrace this experience in every way possible. Your steely determination and energy will get you places and I will follow your progress with interest. I suspect that master plan that sits above your bed at Dilworth is about to get a serious makeover!

Carym - If I was handing out an award for the person who I believe has been truly transformed by this experience it would go to you. Not only have we seen a whole new Carym at the end of the trip, you have discovered a whole new side of yourself that I suspect you never knew existed as you have expressed so well in your blog posts. I know your new found spirit of achievement will be a fantastic asset in your community.

Gabriel - What can I say! This trip has been the making of you as I always knew it would be. You now realise what it's possible to achieve when you set your mind to it. You are so talented in so many ways. Your challenge now is to take this experience and power yourself up to a whole new level. Keep the spirit of this trip burning inside you and use it as motivation for what you can achieve in the future.

Saia - I know this trip has had a huge impact on you. You asked several great questions along the way and lead by example. You are a wonderful role model for young Pacifica teens. Stay true to yourself and use the learnings from this trip to really propel your career in the future.

Toby - As a young entrepreneur, this week you experienced a masterclass in what it takes to achieve success by getting to understand the DNA of some of the world's most influential businesses. I know you will apply these insights in your own way and my hope is that you continue to use your knowledge and understanding of business to continue to support others.

Simon - Thanks for your fantastic input this week. I know the boys have benefited greatly from your wisdom and experience and for you personally it's obvious this trip has had a profound impact on your thinking in so many different areas. It was great you were able to join us...

Jason - As a young teacher who has more energy than anyone else I've ever met my only concern is whether your students will now be able to keep up with you!! You have been a wonderful addition to the team this week and I have absolutely no doubt that you will continue to make your mark on education in the future.

Hapaita te ara tika pumau ai te rangatiratanga mo nga uri whakatipu

Foster the pathway of knowledge to strength, independence and growth for future generations