Justin Veale is a 15 year-old, 10th grader living in Milton, ON, who is doing incredible things within his community. He also happens to have FASD.
Justin first attended the Halton REACH For It event on November 8th 2014- Build Me Up Lego Day, which provided him the opportunity to build relationships with police officers in his community. Halton REACH For It events are designed to provide recreational programming for children and adolescents with FASD and their families. During the events, participants are matched with police officers, who are trained to understand FASD and adapt to the needs of the individuals. The program facilitates an inclusive, supervised and safe environment for individuals with FASD to learn and grow and maximize their strengths.
Throughout his involvement in the program, Justin became an advocate for Halton REACH For It and was invited to speak about his experiences during Halton’s FASD awareness day celebration. Impressed by his public speaking ability, participating police officers informed his family of the PEACE Youth Leadership Program with Halton Police. Justin was accepted into the 9-week program, in which students worked closely with police to improve their cultural understanding, communication and leadership skills, as well as understand areas of policing.
As a result of his training, he had the confidence to apply for a paid position within the Halton Police Department, known as the Youth In Policing Initiative (Y.I.P.I). He successfully completed the interview process and has just been selected to participate for the Summer of 2019!
Justin has become an avid public speaker about FASD, speaking at various events in the Toronto area, he volunteers at a Senior’s residence, and has received the S.E.A.C Spirit of Inclusion Award, along with the Personal Triumph Award, which recognizes a youth who has overcome obstacles with optimism, perseverance, determination and passion, therefore inspiring others in the community. Keep it up Justin, you’re doing amazing things and we can’t wait to see what you’re going to do next!
You can watch a video of Justin speaking about FASD here. The video is from when he was 11 years old.