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           Home >  Culture  > Education  :

Amped4life Trust working "to give real answers to Life issues"

Dorothy - 22/02/08

The Amped Group's primary objective is to educate, equip and empower young people with the tools and skills they need to make healthy and informed choices for life.

"Half our young people experiment with cannabis by the age of 16, and 55% of 17 year olds report binge drinking within the last month."
These figures were published in May 2006.

"Many of our young people end up in a life of despair and hopelessness through alcohol and drug use. Our nation has one of the highest rates of suicide, teen pregnancies and drug and alcohol use in the Western World."

From the Amped Group profile

So many people have read such statements with sadness but felt that there was nothing they could do.

Pat Buckley read such statistics and was moved to take action.
He knew from personal experience the appalling results of drug taking. He set up the Amped4life Trust in 2002 and through amped4skools has addressed an increasing number of teenagers each year, challenging them to make wise choices about drug taking.

In 2007 Pat talked to 11,525 people.
Pat is able to hold audiences spellbound, not just because of his ability as a speaker, but also because his message is based on his own experiences.

Drinking at age 12, smoking marijuana at 14, and being a heroin addict at 16 definitely qualifies this reformed drug addict to speak on the danger of drugs. Overdosing, being pronounced clinically dead, flat lining three times and attending the funeral of 41 friends whose drug taking cost them their lives these are sufficient credentials to persuade thousands of college teenagers to listen.

Clean from drugs for ten years, Pat now spends his time running Amped4Life, a charity organisation that confronts teenagers about the dangers of drugs and the importance of making good choices.

The mission of Amped4Life is "Supporting schools in their need to offer real and relevant solutions to drug/alcohol/substance abuse in their student community".

Why was the name "amped" chosen?
Pat's answer to this question
"Amp is a measurement of electrical current or power unit. We desired to impart a powerful positive message to others which empowers them to make their own decisions because you determine your life and destiny by the choices you make. The Amped Group desires to sow life, build resilience and create a healthy sense of self esteem with our youth and challenge them to aspire for greatness in all aspects of life. At this critical time in a young person's life, teens need clear direction, boundaries and guidelines to help them navigate through these fragile years. Sadly many of today's youth come from single parent families which makes it all the more difficult for the teens.

  • Teens frequently struggle asking for help. Often they feel misunderstood, unsure and insecure about a whole lot of stuff. Many young people need support and encouragement- The Amped Group is here for them."


    Amped4Skool focuses on teenagers and education and being preventative rather than reactive.

      It provides the following services:
    • Full assembly presentations
    • Board of Trustees drug referrals
    • Educating and equipping staff and helping to identify drug use in the classroom
    • Working together with teachers in Health Curriculum
    • Classroom Presentations
    • Mentoring/Coaching
    • Sexuality
    • Drug testing in Schools (ESR)

    Amped4Life focuses on delivering education info, presentations and other services to community agencies etc.

      Amped4Life provides the following services:
    • Community evenings - identifying drugs of abuse and current trends
    • Warning signs and symptoms
    • Helping teenagers say "NO" to drugs and "Yes" to life
    • Helping grandparents stay vigilant and relevant
    • Informative seminars
    • Rotary meetings
    • Lions and Probus Clubs
    • Questions and answers
    • Website with informative and current information on drugs of abuse

    Statistics for 2007:
    Pat spoke to 11525 people in one year involving:

    2 Marae
    25 Visits to Tauranga Boys College (seminars, Counselling /Mentoring)
    15 Visits to Mount Maunganui College (seminars, Counselling /Mentoring)
    1 Children's Bible Ministry Camp (160 Students)
    1 Television interview
    21 High Schools
    1 RYPEN Camp
    3 DARE Drug presentations
    8 churches
    13 Rotary and Service groups
    15 Community presentations
    7 Youth groups

    Pat covered all the schools and groups listed in one year alone, and has been delivering this message by himself for five years since Amped4life's inception in Sept 2002. He realised how limited he was and how he needed a team so he could cover a larger geographical location.

    The problem is so serious and the need for help is so urgent that the Amped Group is looking to take its message nationwide. Pat has been careful to select a team which will enhance and reinforce the integrity of the message.

    Pat reports on a new connection
    Meeting Ryan and Shawna from Vancouver was a real blessing and both Pat and Ryan knew there was synergy between them. Ryan and Shawna will be speaking in schools and communities alike. They will be based in Auckland and be able to establish a base and have regular follow up with many High Schools in the local area. Pat has worked slowly South and hopes to take his message down South right through to Invercargill.

    This worthwhile endeavour needs support from people right through New Zealand.

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