Finding my culture

Published: 6 August 2019

Jess shares her story about how she connects to her culture through creativity.

Introducing Jess's story

Growing up, Jess was a creative rangatahi but she didn't find the right outlet for that until later in life. 

Listen to her story about how she overcame challenges and connected with her culture and whakapapa by using her creative side and how that let her make a new path to happiness and fulfilment.

How to help someone going through a similar experience

If someone you know is going through what Jess has experienced, you can help.

Find out how to help them connect through creativity, and how to help them realise their dreams.

Reflecting on Jess's story

Jess’s story highlights the importance of cultural connection and of having someone to encourage us to follow our dreams.

When Jess was growing up, she didn’t always feel like she had someone there to support, guide and protect her. She was discouraged from pursuing her dream of becoming an artist because she wouldn’t earn enough money to support herself. That led to her becoming a hairdresser. Having a job that she wasn’t passionate about left her unfulfilled, so she quit. During this time, she didn’t have strong direction.

Later, she started using reflection as part of her daily routine. She focused on her goals and discovered a way to become an artist that builds her understanding of herself, her whakapapa and her culture.

Jess’s self-reflection, cultural reconnection, as well as her accepting and supportive partner, have all helped her find direction and set her on a path to follow her dream.