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Young achiever makes a difference

 | 05 April 2017

Year 12 Ballajura Community College student James Fazio likes keeping busy. So it’s no surprise that he’s been named a finalist in the 2017 WA Young Achiever Awards for promoting mental health among students.

James is passionate about creating a healthy and safe school community. He hopes to help his friends and the community make better informed and more secure decisions about their mental health.

Last year, he took on a leadership role in promoting mental health issues and introduced the Zero2Hero program at the school.

“I took part in a Zero2Hero Camp to learn more about mental health issues,” James said. “Zero2Hero educates young people on what mental health is and empowers students to speak up for themselves and others.

“This year I invited the Zero2Hero coordinator to the school so students could learn more about issues related to mental health.”

As if studying five ATAR subjects and a Certificate III in Music wasn’t enough, James is a student councillor, and raises funds for the Red Cross and the world refugee crisis as a member of the college’s Amnesty club. Outside school he volunteers with St John Ambulance as a cadet event health officer, offering medical support at sporting and cultural events.

The 16 year old school captain has also been nominated for the School Drug Education and Road Aware (SDERA) Health and Wellbeing Award. The award acknowledges young people who have contributed to creating a healthier and safer community through education.

Politics teacher Fran Duggan nominated James for the award. “His outstanding level of dedication, passion and commitment at such a young age was worthy of recognition,” she said.

“I entered James in this category because he is the true embodiment of the award.

“He’s an articulate, quiet achiever and is committed to bringing positive change to the school.”

Winners of the WA Young Achiever Awards will be announced on 21 May.