Students experiencing success and seeing them at the top of their game is something Sian McMillan (pictured) is truly passionate about.
The new Roaming Teacher - Pasifika for the Young Enterprise Scheme (YES) says she believes the programme sets students up to excel in life.
As part of the YES programme, students set up and run a real business, and each YES company creates their product or service and gets to experience what it is like to go to market.
The Ministry for Pacific Peoples (MPP) funds a dedicated Roaming Teacher for Pacific YES students, to help encourage Pacific young people to discover their potential in business and in life, while at the same time, building a successful, resilient and thriving Pacific population.
Sian initially became involved in YES when she began teaching it at Onewhero Area School three years ago, and she is excited about her new role.
“I really enjoy watching students experience success, whether it is overcoming challenges, gaining excellent results, being part of creating an innovative business or just being inspired to give business a go,” Sian says.
“I believe YES sets students up to experience these types of successes.”
Working in this capacity is challenging yet exciting for Sian as she will play a crucial role in encouraging the next generation of entrepreneurs, she adds.
Having grown up on a dairy farm in Pukekawa, and now owning Pukekawa Contractors (an agricultural contracting company) with husband Jason, Sian is no stranger to the complexities of running a business.
After attending the University of Waikato to study a Bachelor of Sport and Leisure – Double Major of Sport and Economics and a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Teaching, Sian took over the Head of Department Social Sciences at Onewhero Area School, while also teaching Business Studies and Integrated Studies for the past seven years.
Her new role will allow her to fulfil her ambition of working with Pacific young people.
“Through cultural diversity within my family, coaching, teaching and my travelling experience I have always endeavoured to build relationships and help all students overcome challenges to succeed in what they are passionate about,” she says.
“I will strive to inspire and provide Pacific students with numerous opportunities throughout the year, so they feel supported and gain success in business.”
Sian is eager to encourage Pacific YES alumni to become role models for current YES students; and to develop strong relationships with organisations to benefit Pacific YES students and their companies.
To do this, developing strong links with Pacific YES alumni and encouraging Pacific YES alumni to give back and support current Pacific students by helping out as judges, mentors, speakers and role models is crucial.
“I hope to also organise and run workshops to support Pacific students with their business and encourage them to apply for opportunities such as seed funding, EiA and the HATCH programme.
“In my role, I need to collaborate, develop and maintain strong relationships with Pacific organisations, YES alumni and organisations working with Pacific youth in order to benefit Pasifika Students in YES.”