My name is James Reilly, I’m a 21-year-old Civil and Sustainability Engineer and a graduate of the Hyundai Pinnacle Programme. When I created my Pinnacle Programme bio in 2017, I talked about my experience growing up in Wellington, volunteering, running, and playing football. 5 years later, I ask myself while writing this alumni bio: what has changed?
I haven’t stopped volunteering and enjoy giving back to the community that has sustained me for the last 21 years. I still play football when my ACL injured knee allows it, and I enjoy dusting off my running shoes every now and then. I now have an engineering degree which is cool and have a strong interest in sustainable engineering and carbon reduction. Next year I hope to transition from university into a job where sustainability is at the forefront of our work.
I wasn’t special when I applied for the Pinnacle Programme, nor was I a born leader. The Pinnacle Programme taught me focus and made me a leader. They aligned my values in a way that made my future clear in front of my eyes. Spirit of Adventure, Outward Bound, and Kai Waho all played unique parts in my development, and I am extremely fortunate to have had this amazing opportunity.