Late December 2016 I decided to apply as a World Pulse Change Maker.
I sent my application and hoped for the best.
I received a message from the World Pulse team early January 2017 to inform me that I had been selected as a World Pulse Vision Mentor.
I was surprised by their message asI didn't believe I was qualified to mentor anyone.
I said ''YES!''
Asthey say, the rest is history.
My Change Maker is Joanna Smiejka from Warsaw, Poland.
Joanna is 30 years old, isdouble psychology graduate and an autism specialist/therapist/shadow teacher and trainer.
Joanna has lived with her disability and hasovercomeitwith the support of her family, friends, peers and colleagues.
She is a ''TRUE INSPIRATION'' and would like to share herpassion, her teaching to assist children with autism to fulfil their dreams and ambitions.
Unfortunately, autism isan area of education which is underresourced and under fundedin her country.
Joanna spent 10 months working abroad with an organisation based in California, US specialising in autism.
She returned to Warsaw to train as a autism therapist.
For the pasttwo and half years she has been tirelessly working with autistic children. She also trains primary school teachers, educators, parents and interns about the best practices and approaches required to teach children with autism and learning needs.
Her vision is to change perceptions and mindsets about autism and learning disabilities.
She hopes that through her work she will encourage government organisations, education authorities, professionals and educators to support everyone with a learning disability.
She would like to see children with autism study and learn with their peers in mainstream schools.
Her vision is to also highlight the need that adult learners with learning disabilitiesshould be given adequate provision and the opportunityto access employment and trainingof their chosen profession or industry.
It has been pleasure and an education learning about her work.
I am privileged to support her vision and cause.
Since January we have been Skyping and talking every other week and sharing ideas about the modules she needs to complete.
I wish her every success with her work and the World Pulse Change Maker Training Programme.
Please kindly read her profile and support her Story Award below.
Best regards to all World Pulse Change Makers
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''Why should we deprive anyone the opportunity to grow?''