In the often cut-throat world of film and television, Vanessa Gray is redefining how creative people work by replacing competition with collaboration.
At high school, self-confessed goal-setter and go-getter Miriama Kamo secretly wanted to be a journalist, she just wasn't sure how to get there.
One of Shenaegh Hayden's aims in life is to inspire youth to pursue positive choices in their lives.
Hori Te Ariki Mataki
Bachelor of Design graduate Hori Te Ariki Mataki is the first in his family to get a degree.
Mother-of-four Lisa Hemopo hadn't studied "properly" for 30 years when she enrolled in a Diploma in Civil Engineering.
Henare Te Aika-Puanaki
Even before he enrolled at Ara, Henare Te Aika-Puanaki felt right at home in the place he was to study for the next three years.
Haydon Richards was raised in the Pākehā world. He was accepted into law at the University of Canterbury and his future looked bright.
Justin Tipa left school at 15 and at the time he didn't see tertiary education as an option.
Shady McGregor Pākau
During her time at Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Whanau Tahi secondary school, Shady McGregor Pākau had visited Te Puna Wanaka at Ara several times for various events.
Charles Brown (Matua Charlie)
In his younger years, Matua Charlie struggled with the education system. Seeking a fresh start, he moved to Australia. Eventually however, a lack of fulfilment through not knowing his language and culture brought him back to New Zealand to reconnect.
Jazz musician Clayton Hiku grew up surrounded by music. His earliest memories were of his whānau jamming after dinner.
Henare Kaa didn't start playing the drums until he was 16 but it didn't take long before he knew he wanted to be a professional musician.
Redundancy was a profound experience for Rochelle Pereiro, forcing her to think seriously about her future in a way she never had before.
Learning a trade appealed to Tessa, who chose to study painting and decorating.