"I believe in myself and it’s important to me that others believe in what I am capable of." - Beau Campbell
According to his mum, Beau Campbell has had a fascination with cars since he first saw them in a picture book as a toddler. Now, with the help of his family, CCS Disability Action and the fantastic tutors at Otago Polytech, Beau hopes to turn his passion into a career.
His parents Andy and Lezanne have always had a vision that Beau would live an ordinary life where he could expect to be included and fulfil his dreams, just like their other children.
“Beau is confident, kind, caring and has a strong sense of self-worth. He has always known what he has wanted out of life and Andy and I have always advocated for him to have that. But he doesn’t always fit in. I don’t necessarily think society has always been ready to accept him as he is,” explains Lezanne.
It wasn’t until Beau was ready to leave to King’s High School that the couple felt they needed professional support.
“High school was relatively easy to navigate. We understood the routine – which is important to Beau – and he had great friendships. But what happens after school is a no man’s land for people who have additional needs. We felt like we hit a brick wall when we tried to find options that would genuinely fulfil him,” says Lezanne.
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Paul Arnott, CCS Disability Action Vocational & Transition Coordinator, was there to help them navigate. “The thing that we really appreciated about Paul was that he was always focussed completely on Beau and what he wanted and needed. He came into our family like a friend, with specific knowledge. He put options that we could explore on the table, and he was always prepared to be open and flexible.”
“I approached Tim Wallace, tutor in Automotive Engineering at Otago Polytechnic., to discuss exactly what was involved in their 18-month New Zealand Certificate programme,” says Paul. “I also met with student support, to find out what they could offer Beau. The polytechnic was fantastic in terms of their attitude – they were incredibly positive and welcoming and are now looking at how they can further improve
their support for disabled students. Tim has subsequently become a mentor for Beau. You won’t find a nicer, more thoughtful person than Beau, so it has been awesome to be able to play a role supporting him.”
“I like to think about cars and how they work. I like to go to the Speedway and watch shows like Top Gear and Gas Monkey,” says Beau. “I have been accepted into the Automotive Engineering course and now study four days a week. I spend three days at polytech where we work on different skills like welding, and learn about the purpose and function of different parts of an engine”.
He describes his tutors as “very caring and honest.” As well as providing any additional support he might need to work through the assessments, they’ve been sure to include Beau in the same extracurricular activities as his fellow students.
Thank you for believing in Beau.
Another essential aspect of Beau’s success has been completing the weekly work experience that’s required of the course. His father Andy approached Dennis Ham from Quality Vehicle Servicing. Dennis was more than happy to take Beau on, and Paul works with both Dennis and Tim to ensure that, where possible, the work experience is tied to what he’s currently learning about on his course. “This means that he is being supported at every opportunity. It’s a great example of how, when people work together, we can achieve great things,” explains Paul. Paul and Beau created a personal plan to help shape their work together. On it, Beau wrote this statement:
“I believe in myself and it’s important to me that others believe in what I am capable of.”
For parents Andy and Lezanne, they believe wholeheartedly in their son and hope others, like you, will continue to support him on his journey.
"I believe in myself and it’s important to me that others believe in what I am capable of."
“Beau is confident, kind, caring and has a strong sense of self-worth. He has always known what he has wanted out of life and Andy and I have always advocated for him to have that."
“The thing that we really appreciated about Paul from CCS Disability Action was that he was always focussed completely on Beau and what he wanted and needed.”