Contributed by Alicia Neptune, Communications Specialist
Self-advocate Clint Morrison is on a quest to ensure students with developmental disabilities can live full lives in community. He’s created a new, ongoing scholarship fund to support youth transitioning from high school into adulthood.
The $500 Clint Morrison Scholarship is for students who are enrolled in a pre-employment or ACCESS program, registered for post-secondary courses or job training, and have demonstrated community-mindedness. The award, introduced this year, was only available to Burnaby students, but Clint is working to raise the funds to expand the scholarship to other communities in BC.
He hopes to help students take advantage of the opportunities that weren’t available to him at the same age. As a young boy, Clint was placed at St. Christopher’s School in North Vancouver. For the first few years, there wasn’t any formal teaching. He and the other boys living at the school would play when they were not doing their chores. Later, teachers came in to teach an adapted curriculum. Clint went on to learn at several public schools from ages 16-19 where he completed grade 11.
But it took him until age 38 to finally complete grade 12 and graduate high school. Post-secondary education wasn’t an option. In fact, growing up, Clint was told he could never hold a job or live independently. Well, contrary to expectations, he went on to do just that. Clint worked for the Vancouver General Hospital for most of his life, starting out in the kitchen and later taking on a number of different roles. He has also been involved with Special Olympics since the earliest years of the movement. After many years as a coach, he remains a champion of Special Olympics, raising funds and awareness—to date, he’s raised more than $56,000!
In this season of giving, consider joining Clint on his mission to support students with disabilities in communities around the province. If you’re interested in contributing to the scholarship fund, you can contact Clint at (604) 565-5044.