Christina Curley
Upwards' Founder Christina has an extensive background in digital marketing, online education, PR and website creation across New Zealand, San Francisco and the UK. However, her biggest interest is in helping young people: from a rough childhood grew an enormous sense of care for others and the seeds for Upwards (and Savvy Up) were sown.

Christina previously managed the Practice programme (an online programme helping tens of thousands of novice drivers gain their restricted or full licence) for the NZ Transport Agency. 

From July - September 2015 Christina was part of the Lifehack Flourishing Fellowship, a cohort of people working in Aotearoa New Zealand to encourage youth wellbeing. Upwards' development was further strengthened by this work, and in November 2015 Upwards was one of three projects through Lifehack's four-week startup accelerator, Te Kōanga.

Christina is an experienced facilitator and programme director with five years’ experience in the social sector. When she’s not working, she rides a red motorcycle and enjoys being outside.

Tiana Thompson
Tiana is a qualified teacher (BEd (Tchg)) and ‘adventure based learning’ instructor.  She is an experienced youth worker and leadership coach.  Previously, Tiana has managed and facilitated the Nelson Neighbourhood Centre’s Pro-Social Programme, a programme designed to teach life-skills and to promote pro-social competencies in children and young adults.  More recently, Tiana managed and facilitated the Youth Active Leadership Project located at youth centre: The New Hub.  This project explicitly educated students in the art of leadership, and provided them with practical experience in a leadership role.  

Tiana is passionate about empowering young people.  Her teaching style is dynamic and utilises multiple teaching mediums to effectively engage a diverse range of learners.

In her personal life, Tiana enjoys going on adventures in the outdoors with her husband and their two children: sea & river kayaking, rock climbing, tramping and sailing.