Rugby-mad Jack has big ideas for his future. He's working towards his ultimate dream of a career in the sports industry.
Jack whizzes past on his hand-cranked, fluro-green bike and grins. He loves cycling and heads out several times a week to train around Invercargill. He’s already competed in 6km and 12km races and is set on finishing a half marathon alongside his stepdad Greg this year – and that’s just one of his aims!
Working with Jenny, an AccessAbility Local Area Coordinator (LAC), Jack has come up with some big ideas for his future. The two get together every week to talk about Jack’s life and what he wants to do. They then make step-by-step plans for achieving his goals.
“Before Jenny came along I didn’t know what I wanted to do. She’s helped me with so many ideas and challenges me,” Jack says.
Jack’s ultimate dream is to work as a sports journalist or in sports management.
His vast knowledge of sports, specifically rugby, has led to a slot on Radio Southland each Wednesday night. He also releases a podcast, which has become very popular, regularly ranking in the top five at the station. Jack is changing the format of the show this year and Jenny is working with him and Rugby Southland to organise interviews with the Southland Stags.
An important part of Jenny’s role as an LAC is to help Jack make these connections and seek opportunities within his local community.
“I’m just in the background guiding him along and passing on knowledge about who and what is out there. I plant seeds and if Jack chooses to make them grow into opportunities, then that is his choice,” Jenny says.
Jack has recently started a micro-business called Love It Nurture Crème. He sells his Mum's handmade beauty products at the farmers market each Sunday. Using Individualised Funding, he is employing a personal assistant to help at the stall.
Jack is also studying for his driver licence. He and Jenny have made a plan with mini-goals, leading up to his final test. With plenty of study and some practice quizzes, he is now ready for his written learner licence exam.
Long-term, Jack is looking forward to living in his own home and to being a father one day. He would also like to travel the world.
His Mum has noticed a big difference in him since he started working with Jenny. “LAC is the best thing that has happened for Jack. He is so much more independent and everything seems easier for us as a family. We know we have Jenny to talk to,” she says.
Jack says that he’s positive about his future.
“Jenny has made a big impact. She’s awesome. Life is just so cool at the moment,” he says.