Josh is no longer doodling in class!
From time to time we have the opportunity to celebrate the entrepreneurial achievements of one of our students.
A few weeks ago we wrote a profile on Mary, who had successfully grown a ‘Pick-Your-Own-Farm’ business from scratch. This week we’re taking a look at another success story from within our school system, its a young lad that’s the talk of the playground, as he’s controversially, transformed a hectare of land on the edge of town into a perfectly symmetrical car park.
Joshua is in his 2nd year at Bry More and has always shown an interest in Diversification.
Although students at Bry More usually specialise in more niche Agricultural practices, Josh has always been fascinated by the endless possibilities that a piece of land contains. A bright, talented student who has a reputation for creating fantastic works of art during break times, Josh has spent the last year working on designs for a project that might seem a little odd for a young man his age.
“I’ve always really enjoyed drawing. Whether its doodling in the back of an exercise book or taking a pencil and ruler to some graph paper, I find the process helps me deal with my condition. Drawing symmetrically has been something that’s always come naturally to me – although my Mum initially discouraged it, after a while she could see that it was something that I had a particular skill for.”
When he was 5, Josh was diagnosed with Autism. 10 years ago, this condition was understood less than it is today, as a result he wasn’t given the best teaching suitable to his needs. Outside of the classroom he appeared to be like any other student, sociable and happy, but inside the class room he was quiet and uncommunicative. Whenever he found a particular problem or exercise difficult to deal with, he would often escape into the back of his work book and simply choose to doodle symmetrically for as long as he could get away with.
“The whole time I was meant to be learning, I was often just drawing. I guess I got away with it because I was always quiet and looked like I was always concentrating really hard – because I was!”
After a series of bad exam results, Josh was taken out of his school and relocated to Bry More where he could better apply his particular set of skills. Within weeks of joining the school, teachers began to see why he was failing and more attention was henceforth paid to him during lessons. Sure enough, Josh’s grades increased and with it his enthusiasm for a new project, only made possible by the tragic loss of his Grandmother.
“Nan was always really kind to me. Whenever I stayed over she would give me more pens and paper than I knew what to deal with! Dad told me I was always her favourite, that’s why I inherited the house from her instead of him. He told me that I was best off selling it and putting it into savings, but when I looked at the house, I saw something different. I saw a giant blank canvas, a huge sheet of paper that I could draw on to my heart’s content.”
When Josh presented his idea to his parents, they were initially sceptical, but after he explained the potential for profit that the car park could make, they were soon won round. Hundreds of people already booked parking for Liverpool Airport, just a short drive from his Grandmother’s home, why couldn’t he simply design a new one that would be closer and more convenient?
“Mum didn’t like the idea of demolishing Nan’s house at first, but she couldn’t deny that the business plan made a lot of sense. When it came down to it, she was the one to push the plunger on the detonation and I’ve never seen her so happy. Then came the part that I was looking forward to, covering it all over in tarmac and laying down the paint for my car park.”
Its been a busy year for Josh, with the tragedy of his Grandmother’s death and the building of his new business, but its one that’s seen him develop from an amateur doodler to a young professional who has never been happier.