Awesome Humans 16 Aug
Disability and Leadership: "I'm my schools first-ever disabled Prefect"
By Jaden Movold
Ever since I was a little kid, I have always had a passion for being a leader in my community, especially at school. In my two years at Murrays Bay Intermediate, four and a half years at Rangitoto College and even more years in the community, I have had many leadership experiences that have helped shape me into the leader I am today.
I am a Youth Ambassador for the Yes Disability Resource Centre (which supports those with disabilities to lead a full life) and Achilles International NZ (which supports those with disabilities to participate in mainstream running events). With these roles, I help raise awareness of the work these charities do, give public speeches and interviews to the media, and represent these charities in various events, including fundraising.
In 2016, I was elected Student Leader of Murrays Bay Intermediate. Aside from my usual leader responsibilities, I also organised a wheelchair basketball sports day, delivered coaching and games to over 100 students, introduced new elements to MBI TV to increase students' engagement, and developed and led the MBI Diversity Group to recognise and celebrate the diverse makeup of the school.
At Rangitoto College, in 2018 and 2019, I was on the Pastoral Committee organising mental health initiatives such as Pink Shirt Day. In 2019 I was also an International Peer Support Leader, helping international students get to know each other and the school better.
In 2020, I was on the Wellbeing Committee and was the leader of the Year 9/10 student group over lockdown to design material targeted towards addressing the mental wellbeing of these students. Also, in 2020, I was a member of the North Harbour Sports Student Council and am currently on it in 2021, representing Rangitoto College as a Para athlete.
Currently, in 2021, I am one of two deputy Head-Boys and one of two leaders of the Pastoral Committee, focusing on overall student wellbeing throughout the school, including organising events around mental health and bullying.
I believe it is vital to see disabled people in leadership positions because, as a society, many people disregard disabled people as being weak, underachieving and/or people who need "help". Having disabled people in leadership positions, whether in school or in our communities, provides different perspectives on issues and initiatives that able-bodied people may not see or value as being important.
Disabled people have many strengths including empathy, emotional intelligence and broad effective communication. It is important to see disabled people in leadership positions as it provides society with an invaluable point of view, and it makes able-bodied people realise that disabled people can help influence changes that have a positive impact on society.
All Pictures: Jaden Movold (@jadenmovold)