Nathan Buttling

'I plan to work with at risk teenagers and young adults, helping them to find where it is they fit in the world...'

  • Nathan Buttling

Studying towards a Bachelor of Youth and Community Leadership


Nathan is passionate about helping others, especially supporting at-risk youth. He wants a university degree that will help him progress his own knowledge to better support others. He called the University of Canterbury to find out what options he had.

’I was directed toward the Youth and Community Leadership degree by the Call Centre at UC. Once I found it, I felt it was a great fit for my aspirations to build a retreat workshop for at risk youth,’ he says.

Having already created his own youth-support project, it was important to Nathan that his studies equipped him with the skills he needed to progress it further. Having almost completed his first year of study, he is excited about how much he has learned already.

‘I plan to work with at-risk teenagers and young adults, helping them to find where it is they fit in the world. I have been working on my own project for a number of years and, with the skills I am developing at UC, believe it is now actually within my reach and completely achievable.’

Particular courses within the BYCL degree allow students to focus on their own initiatives and community-focused projects. It can be an opportunity for students to work towards addressing a particular area and make meaningful change. For Nathan, that is supporting youth.

‘My focus is based on how many individuals I can potentially help. I was myself once very lost as a young man. I’ve learnt through my own experiences and can use that to help others, which is important to me. But even more importantly for me, it is about creating an ongoing structured support network for our young people that continues on long after I’m gone.’

As an adult student, starting a degree can feel like a big step. For Nathan, studying has been life changing and he would encourage others thinking about starting a degree to go for it.

‘I am absolutely loving studying. I’ve never studied before, but now feel like I always will,’ he says.

Along with his BYCL courses, he is enjoying studying Sociology and Education; but Philosophy has been the subject that he has found most inspiring.

‘My favourite so far would have to be Philosophy. I love reading about all the old ideologies. It helps me to understand how we have arrived at where we are now.’

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