Ezra thrives in fresh start

Southern Gazette (South Perth) - - News -

AF­TER years of bul­ly­ing, Ezra Hill’s par­ents chose to home-school him.

His high-func­tion­ing autism meant he strug­gled so­cially and his lit­er­acy and nu­mer­acy com­pre­hen­sion was iden­ti­fied as low.

In Jan­uary, he started at the Com­mu­nicare Academy, a pur­pose-built fa­cil­ity aimed at em­pow­er­ing at-risk and dis­en­gaged young peo­ple by pro­vid­ing an al­ter­na­tive ap­proach to their ed­u­ca­tion which chal­lenges and in­spires them to de­velop so­cially and emo­tion­ally.

Ezra (16) said that de­spite the long jour­ney each day from his home in Sin­gle­ton, he was much hap­pier at the school.

“I like school now, I wasn’t do­ing well be­fore,” he said.

The Year 11 stu­dent’s new chap­ter has helped him em­brace his pas­sion as a vol­un­teer trainer at Rid­ing for the Dis­abled.

Last month, he won the Leon Mills Me­mo­rial Award for his work with dis­abled young horse rid­ers.

Par­ents who nom­i­nated him cited his kind and calm na­ture for bring­ing their chil­dren out of their shells.

“I like to work with an­i­mals, and I like help­ing the kids… I like be­ing there,” Ezra said.

The hum­ble stu­dent said con­tin­u­ing his work with the chil­dren was more im­por­tant to him than an award and he was com­mit­ted to car­ry­ing on his vol­un­teer work.

Ezra is nom­i­nated for a Na­tional Rid­ing for the Dis­abled Vol­un­teer Award, which will be an­nounced on Novem­ber 13.

Ezra Hill at the Peel Rid­ing for the Dis­abled sta­bles.

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