Dilworth 2020 Head Prefect: Benjamin Jennings-Sio
When asked how they would describe the Dilworth 2020 Head Prefect, Benjamin Jennings-Sio, Dilworth Senior Management did nothing short of describe an incredible young man who has the characteristics of a great leader.
Dilworth Headmaster, Dan Reddiex describes Benjamin as a young man of character who displays the traits of a strong servant leader and says “I am confident he will serve and represent the Dilworth community superbly.”
Assistant Principal – Student Services, Claudine Nathan said “Benjamin is a respectful and compassionate young man with a strong faith. He will lead the school with integrity.”
The Head of the Senior Campus, Neil Ritchie described Benjamin as a fine example of a great Dilworth man in the making “Ben has distinguished himself during his time so far at Dilworth by his integrity and sense of duty.”
And Deputy Head of the Senior Campus, Mike Dodge feels that Benjamin has the mana to carry the Head Prefect role and spoke of his likeability “Benjamin has a maturity beyond his years, he is a highly respected leader both with his peer group and staff alike.”
We spoke to Benjamin about what it means to him to be selected as the Head Prefect, what he hopes to achieve in the role and what he thinks it takes to be a good leader.
What does it mean to you to be selected as Head Prefect?
It means a lot. It is an honour and a privilege to be named 2020 Head Prefect of such a prestigious school. It is such a blessing not only for myself but also for my family and friends. Never in my wildest dreams would I have ever thought a little boy from Mangere would be honoured with such a huge role in what is an amazing and life-changing school.
How did it feel?
To be honest, I didn't know what to feel or how to feel. I was shocked, surprised and scared but I was also happy, proud and emotional. But one thing I certainly did feel walking up that stage with everyone clapping, was humbled and blessed and I will remember and cherish that moment for the rest of my life.
What do you think makes a great leader?
I believe there is no single way of being a great leader. My idea of being a great leader comes down to three words - humility, integrity and service. Being humble shows others that you are a committed leader and will do what is best for the team. Having integrity means being a leader that does the right thing, whenever and wherever, even when no one is looking. And finally service, being behind the scenes, giving others a chance to lead - that gives me self-gratification which motivates me to become a better leader.
What do you enjoy most about being at Dilworth?
Being at Dilworth, I’ve made a what I feel will be my life-long friends and I am proud to call them all my brothers. It is only in my later years that I actually started looking deeper into this idea of brotherhood, knowing that I have been with these people for a long time, some of us half of our lives. We eat together, learn together, hang around together just like ordinary brothers would do, but the thing that makes it special is that we are all different and from all walks of life - that's what makes the Dilworth brotherhood strong.
What do you plan on doing when you finish school?
When I finally leave the green gates I hope to go to university to study music, majoring in voice. But before that, I would love to go overseas and be a tutor for a year. I think having a gap year will help me gather my thoughts and completely narrow down my career path. My ultimate destination is serving in church ministry.
What would you like to achieve in 2020 in your role as Head Prefect?
As Head Prefect, there are few things I would like to achieve but the most important one for me is about being a firm yet flexible student voice that speaks up about any student concerns. I want to be a down to earth leader who acts as a communicative mediator between students and staff.
Both personally and academically, I hope to gain NCEA Level 3 and get a scholarship for my tertiary education. But most importantly, I hope to handover my Head Prefect role at the end of 2020, knowing that I have made a difference.