Edmund Hillary Fellowship

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A few months ago I took a risk and gambled all of my "self-investment budget" ($1000) from Organic Mechanic on an application to the Edmund Hillary Fellowship. I spent days and nights perfecting the application and with the help of Savannah Atai my transcript was fit for a day in court.

It was 11.55pm and the 12am online submitting deadline loomed. Feeling confident about this process from my time at university, I quickly uploaded my application and at the last minute decided to add some extra photos. This meant the upload finished at 12.01am - and unfortunately, the automated technology coldly informed me I had missed the deadline.

I felt helpless. Defeated, like a fish flapping about on the ground.

This was one of the greatest tests of my own self belief - as I slumped off to bed, feeling robbed and sorry for myself. In the morning I tried frantically to contact someone for a late submission. Days passed and I didn't hear anything. The fire inside me began to dwindle... 2 weeks later I received an email offering an opportunity for a late submission - but it was going to cost me $650.

Living from paycheck to paycheck whilst working on OM, Hemp For Victory and Aro Hemp Aotearoa, this was a stretch. But with the support and belief of my people around me - I was going to take the risk.

In July, after multiple zoom calls, more applications and video submits, I received news that I had been selected as a Fellow of the Edmund Hillary Fellowship - my cohort being a group of 44, chosen from over 500 - including only 12 kiwis.

This organisation had been developed in the spirit and memory of Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to summit Mount Everest - similar to how I felt at this moment.

EHF is an organization fostering humankind's potential from Aotearoa, bringing together worldwide impact entrepreneurs, investors and change makers to ascend to new heights of innovation building meaningful solutions to global problems.

I'm looking forward to checking in with this crew and sharing the wisdom and guidance with my whānaunga back home after New Frontiers Festival in Nov.

You can check out my EHF profile/story at the link https://stories.ehf.org/ehf-fellow-graedon-parker-of-organic-mechanic-6bd69f3e3499?fbclid=IwAR1tihofNLXqGiBgXUE-QaiPNvE1ZKIZ1VMQHEedefD8sbrmY1wUkj0FnRI