Anne-Elise Smithson: What were some challenges you faced as a young person heading into the world?

The Young Innovators Collective website ( is looking great! One of the challenges I faced as a younger person would be having a passion and not having the practical first steps available to me to implement that passion as a career. I would have greatly benefited from a mentor during this time.
Other challenges included working hard for a low wage. My very first job was as a cashier at Northcote Countdown when I was in Year 12, in the late nineties, and at that time I earned just over $6 an hour. Although I didn’t recognise it at the time, I would say that working as a supermarket cashier was underpaid for what can be reasonably busy and demanding work. Today, many young people face being undervalued and underpaid in their jobs.
– Anne-Elise Smithson, The Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand