News, announcements and more.

May 20, 2015

Shanny Robinson – Teen mum and entrepreneur

Shanny Robinson took part in the BP Business Challenge in 2013, while studying at Titiro Whakamua Teen Parent Unit in Wellington.


After her son Cayson was born, Shanny returned to school and now splits her time between Titiro Whakamua and neighbouring Heretaunga College. She is now taking part in The Lion Foundation Young Enterprise Scheme.

What did you enjoy most about the Business Challenge?

It was really interesting and jam packed over the three days. I thought it was really cool. We came up with an idea called Nanny Cam – there are lots of them available now but last year it was a pretty new idea. We had the Nanny Cam connected to your phone to make it really easy for parents to keep an eye on their babies.

What made you choose to do YES this year?

I had lots of friends that did YES and they all said it was really cool, so I was definitely keen to give it a go. Also, I had a great time when we did the BP Business Challenge and this seemed like a great next step.

How are you enjoying the year so far?

I have an awesome bunch of people in my group and I think that’s really important. I am in a slightly different situation to most YES students – for example, I had to bring Cayson to E-Day, and there are times when I’m in my Business Studies class and I need to pop over to Titiro Whakamua to feed him – but everyone has been really supportive.

What’s your team planning to do for your YES business?

Our business is called Eclipse E-sports and we’re going to run gaming tournaments for people who play League of Legends. We have some guys in our team that are really passionate about the game and I want to work in event management once I finish school, so this feels like a great way to blend those two things. I’m getting to do things like organise prizes and uniforms and that’s all a part of event management.


If you could give one piece of advice to another student thinking of doing YES, what would it be?

Don’t even think about it – just do it. For me there were a few times at the start of the year where I was a little confused but everything falls into place and it’s heaps of fun.

What has surprised you the most about being a teen parent?

I’m doing a media course at college and I’ve been looking at how teen parents are portrayed in the media. It’s often really negative and the coverage doesn’t accurately represent teen parents. That’s really surprised me, and I probably would never have noticed if I hadn’t become a teen parent myself.


Any words of wisdom for other teen parents?

You’ll be busy! I’m running a household, managing our family budget and looking after our baby while studying. You can’t help but think about your child first, but it’s also important to enjoy your new life. And make sure you go back into education – it will have huge benefits for you and your baby in the long run.