THREE neuro-typical or ‘normal’ young Jamaican women haven proven that it pays to help the less fortunate.
Nicole Nation, Javanna Haughton and Shavell Skeel have become the first set of young Jamaicans to earn the title ‘Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors’ for their work with autism.
The young women received prizes in the inaugural Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors Competition staged this year by The Maia Chung Autism and Disabilities Foundation (MCADF). The prizes were handed over at the Observer offices last Thursday, the third anniversary of the MCADF.
Nation, the top contender, has also received a summer internship with All Woman.
The competition, which began in January, culminated last week in time to coincide with the observance of global autism month in April.
The competition formed a major part of the MCADF’s three-year milestone.
The young ladies were required to write essays about various disabilities, and also created displays to educate their respective communities about the needs of the disabled; as well as have fundraisers for facilities for the disabled in their communities.
The winners received trophies sponsored by the Mavis Bank Coffee Factory, JABLUM and MCADF patron Senator Norman Grant. They also received cash prizes and scholarships.
Nation, who was the most outstanding candidate, will work with All Woman for several weeks. She also received $15,000 from SuperPlus, a scholarship from the Creative Production and Training Centre’s Media Training Institute and the Senator Grant’s Autism and Disabilities Ambassadors trophy.
The three ladies will do work with the MCADF during their reign.
Autism is a brain disorder which mainly affects males and is characterised in the main, by speech impairment, the inability to relate emotionally in a normal manner and repetitive and sometimes aggressive behaviours.