ASB Good As Gold: Natalie Henry
ASB Good as Gold is an ASB initiative recognising, rewarding and helping wonderful people in our community. We ask the public to nominate people who are making a real difference in their community, have grabbed hold of life against the odds or who really deserve help in a time of hardship. The recipients are featured on TV One’s Seven Sharp programme.
Sometimes thank you isn’t enough, and Natalie Henry is deserving of much more. She enriches the lives of everyone from her family to her local community with selfless enthusiasm to care for and nurture others. A teacher aide at Pasadena Intermediate, she works tirelessly to support children’s learning, and advocates strongly for Maori and Pacific students to have a voice in their education, helping them shape their futures and experience success. For Natalie, it’s important that children understand they don’t need to leave their culture at the school gate.
Natalie does it all. At school she has led the Kapa Haka group for many years, organised fundraising for Marae visits in Northland and visits to Waitangi, as well as provide encouragement and an example for children to be proud of their culture. At the same time, she volunteers at a food bank on a weekly basis, and has fostered many young people in her home.
As well as supporting her community, she’s a devoted mother. Her son Shyroe has special needs and has experienced significant health issues. In August 2016, he underwent major surgery and Natalie never faulted in her belief that he would pull through, showing incredible love, faith and care. She’s had to make sacrifices and challenge systems in health and education to ensure his rights are protected, and Shyroe has grown to be an incredible man for it. This selfless attitude has rubbed off on her older son Jay, who also plays his part in helping Shyroe on top of his own study.
Pasadena Intermediate has a sister school in Hiroshima, Japan which they have an exchange programme with. After travelling there as a helper on one of these trips, Natalie formed a deep love for the country and some great friendships. Ever since, it’s been her dream to take her two boys but it’s not been possible financially. We wanted to help make this dream come true, and gave the Henry family return flights to Japan and $3,000 spending money.
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