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YWCA Auckland Future Leaders Programme finds winning pairing

Pip Mehrtens from Birkenhead winner of YWCA Future Leaders Programme 2016 Mentor of the Year.

Mentor Pip Mehrtens has been recognised for her part in empowering teenage girls.

Mehrtens from Auckland's North Shore has been named as the YWCA Auckland Future Leaders Programme's 2016 Mentor of the Year.

The award acknowledges the support, participation and commitment by a mentor in the programme that helps young women, aged 14 to 18 years, from low decile schools develop their leadership skills and confidence.

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YWCA Auckland has been offering free community programmes in Auckland for 130 years and is part of the world's largest women's organisation.

For four years, Mehrtens has mentored Mary-Kate Fonua from Mt Roskill Grammar School.

"Becoming a mentor has never been about glory or praise," Mehrtens said.

"It's been about helping and supporting an amazing young woman achieve her potential by giving her different experiences, perspectives, views and advice than what she might otherwise have ever had access to."

Despite the programme wrapping up with a graduation ceremony on December 9, Mehrtens plans to keep in close contact with her mentee who received the 2016 Future Leader of the Year award.

"Mary and I have finished the four years with a deep love and respect for each other. I will always be there to help, support and guide her, and we will be friends for life," Mehrtens said.