When it comes to community involvement and having pride in your school, Joape Nagera is the poster child.

The 18-year-old Rotorua Boys' High School deputy head boy won the Youth Community Spirit Award at the Trustpower Community Awards in Whakatāne on Monday night.

Nagera is a young leader with an ever-growing list of achievements. The common theme? They all involve helping others.

As part of his community work at school, he helps out with Love Soup Rotorua, providing food for the homeless, and is on the Students Against Drink Driving committee.

He is a youth leader at his church, where he enthusiastically assists with fundraising activities such as car washes and bake sales, and also helps with the sound desk and anything else that needs doing.

Nagera is the leader of the youth committee for the Rotorua Fijian Association, and is part of the Pasifika Powerup Plus Programme where he mentors, tutors and encourages other Pasifika students.

He volunteers his time as a swimming teacher, teaching 5 to 8-year-olds about water safety, survival skills and how to swim.

Nagera said receiving the award made him feel proud.

"It gave me an opportunity to represent my communities and Rotorua Boys' High School as well. I just like giving back to the community, because they do so much for me, helping me out at school and outside of school as well. I like to give back in any little way I can."

He said his willingness to appreciate and give back to those who had helped him was something his parents had always encouraged.

"Family is a big motivation and being recognised for my work with the church is probably what I was most proud of. I'm Christian and I grew up in a church environment in Fiji, so to be able to be recognised for the voluntary work I've been doing at church is pretty cool. It means a lot to me and my family."

When asked what he planned to do after high school, it was no surprise to hear he planned to study health science and work towards becoming a surgeon - a career solely based on helping others.