Richard Haskayne Scholarship

The Richard Haskayne Scholarship “For Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders” an annual scholarship of $5,000 is awarded to an eligible Albertan with an Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) pursuing post high school education, training or vocation. Applicants for this scholarship must submit a 250 word essay on “How being a student with Autism has impacted their education,” as well as their educational goals and post-secondary program plans.

This year’s award goes to: Christian Brown

For Christian, having Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has meant having limited social skills and understanding of others’ feelings, and experiencing many difficult situations, from getting divorced from his only friend, to sleeping in his car for two weeks because he had nowhere to go.

But having ASD has also meant having a true drive for pursuing his passions, and pushing himself through his struggles. Currently, Christian is enrolled in both the Instrumentation and the Electrical Engineering Technology programs at S.A.I.T, which he credits for not only educating him in the trades, but also for teaching him ‘social normalcy’, interaction with others, and compassion.

Through his post-secondary education, Christian has developed a passion for helping others. He has decided to help society change its views of people with ASD, by helping others in society. He has volunteered his time tutoring classmates, not only showing compassion for others who are struggling with course material, but also learning about himself in the process.

Christian is now accessing and benefiting significantly from system supports at SAIT including housing and accessibility services. He is learning the skills for interacting successfully with employers and co-workers which had made maintaining employment difficult in the past. He will complete his certificates of Electrical Engineering Technology in 2016 and Instrumentation in 2017. Christian is exploring several different business sectors for employment once he graduates, and is looking forward to living out the life lessons he has experienced through his time at school.

In Christian’s own words: “There is no pot hole that I cannot fill in, puddle that I cannot drain, flat tire that I cannot change and tree that I cannot drive around ..[in] the beautiful ride of life’.

Dr. Fraser Mustard Scholarship

The Dr. Fraser Mustard Scholarship for “Advancing Knowledge in the Field of Autism Spectrum Disorders” is an annual scholarship of $5,000. It is awarded to an eligible Albertan pursuing a post-secondary academic program in a field that supports and furthers the knowledge and/or research of Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Applicants for this scholarship must submit a 750 word essay outlining why they are interested in the field of autism and their research experience to date. As well, they must document their volunteer activities and accomplishments with respect to Autism.

This year’s award goes to: Candace Ford-Taperek

Candace is working towards a Master of Education, with a focus on Educating Children with an Autism Spectrum Disorder. She has been involved in the autism community for nearly 25 years, having worked in paediatric residential services and community health education. About 10 years ago, Candace’s involvement with Autism took on a new dynamic when her own son was given a diagnosis on the spectrum.

Candace has been involved with the Autism Calgary Association for nearly a decade and was instrumental in bringing their Friend 2 Friend autism demystification program to Calgary. As the leader of this program and continued community education efforts, Candace has led informational workshops for school-aged children, teachers, administrators, paraprofessionals and medical professionals across Alberta in the private, public, and separate school boards as well as for post-secondary institutions and community-based groups.

Candace’s passion is for learning about ASD; understanding treatment options, lifespan considerations, and ongoing research. Her education will allow her to explore the notions of how we teach children with ASD, through research into the future direction of educational practices, and understanding inclusive education processes. Candace’s long term goals are to work with various school jurisdictions to ensure that curriculum development for children with ASD will continue to best meet their academic, vocational, social and emotional needs, to further awareness of ASD and to enhance the lives of those with ASD and their advocates.

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