In late 2002, Jack started his transition to school, with the support of the Champion Centre’s Education Support Worker, Marie Stevenson. Jack reflected on this time of transition and the support that Marie and the Centre provided to make it as smooth as possible. Jack even brought along to the AGM, the book which Marie provided him all those years ago, to help him transition. The book illustrated simple things such as where to hang his blazer and where the bathrooms were located, all to help familiarise Jack with his new surroundings.
Jack did not let his dyspraxia hold him back and his achievements are stunning. Throughout his primary school years, Jack got involved in a diverse range of activities, including hockey, rugby, karate, and fencing. He was a finalist in a speech competition, had a lead role in the school’s production, and even dabbled in robotics. Jack showed that he was keen to get involved in a multitude of activities, and was committed to what he set his mind to. This was recognised in Jack’s final year of primary school, when he was awarded an Excellence Award at prizegiving. While Jack acknowledged in his presentation that he did not find learning easy, he said he absolutely loved his high school years and his dedication to working hard and studying paid off when he earned his NCEA Level 1 through to 3, an accomplishment to be incredibly proud of.
Despite his dyspraxia, Jack has always had a ‘knack’ for building things, starting off as a child playing with Lego (excellent therapy for hand movements and thinking and planning), and moving on to the complex BIONICLE range. His ability to follow instructions to create complex items provided him with peace, and he was clearly very good at it, because he has now secured a full-time role with local power and electrical firm PDC (Power Distribution & Control) working in the production team making small scale switchboards for commercial and residential usage.
The future looks exciting for Jack, as a young man in a job he thoroughly enjoys. The team at the Champion Centre, are incredibly proud of what Jack has gone on to accomplish, since coming through the programmes. In signing off, at the AGM, Jack closed by sharing,
‘My life would be drastically different without the help, guidance and support I received at an early age from the Champion Centre. I was one of the lucky ones that got referred to the centre… I hope I have done you proud’.
Yes, Jack, you certainly have! We are so very proud of what you have achieved and the young man you have become. Thank you for sharing your story, and we wish you every success for the future.
[excerpt from the Champion Centre newsletter, December 2017]