Ascent student named DofE’s ‘Voice of Neurodiveristy’ Youth Ambassador





Ascent Autism Specialist College student, Courtney, was chosen as the voice of neurodiversity for the Duke of Edinburgh’s (DofE) Youth Ambassador programme this July. The DofE UK Youth Ambassador programme involves an engaging programme of activities running from June 2023 to May 2024. There are only 30 Youth Ambassadors across the UK. As part of her role as a DofE Youth Ambassador, Courtney will serve as a representative for young people, attend workshops to develop new skills, and represent the DofE at public events. While studying, Ascent staff challenged Courtney to step out of her comfort zone and build her social and communication skills, which included her becoming a Young Leader for the DofE. Emma Hepworth, operations officer for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, said: “I have had the pleasure of meeting Courtney on a few occasions, and I am really excited for her to receive this opportunity as she has already completed the Young Leader Programme, and has been helping within the college.” Head of adult services at Ascent Autism Specialist College, Julliet Doherty, said: “Courtney is an outstanding role model, and I am so proud to witness her ongoing success. “Courtney gives one hundred percent to everything and is truly passionate about helping others – a rare and precious quality. To be selected as one of 30 Youth Ambassadors across the UK is no small feat; we are incredibly proud of Courtney. “It is fantastic to see a representation of neurodiversity within the DofE Youth Ambassador Programme, enabling those with autism to have a voice on a national platform.” Courtney was delighted after receiving the news. She said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award has helped me in so many ways and I want to use my experience to support other young people like me.”