At just 21 years of age, Mason Ingram is already making a difference in people’s lives.
Currently, he is employed as a Teacher’s Assistant at York Public School (South Penrith) and also in the Support Unit as a Disability Support Worker.
“I want my role to be seen as a positive in someone’s life to help get the best possible outcome for them.”
“I just feel I would like to make difference in someone’s life that maybe has some obstacles along the way.”
“I get so much out of being a support person and role model.”
He is actively implementing his School’s Motto – Pride in Achievement.
With his “two pronged” position, the school role involves assisting in the classroom and playground with children with varying levels of autism. With his Disability Support Work, he helps with lifestyle skills and developing physical fitness.
Mason has been working at York Public School for three years. He has been providing support for Daniel for four years during which time they have formed a special bond and friendship. This connection came about through the National Disability Insurance Scheme which enabled Daniel to employ Mason.
Mason’s day is made when he sees Daniel or others achieve things with his help and support.
The sometimes-difficult roles do have their “downsides”. Sometimes when they do not want to co-operate, it can be very demanding.
The “downtime” for Mason away from the School and Support Unit as a Disability Support Worker, is playing football in the National Premier League with the Marconi Stallions FC.
Head Coach Peter Tsekenis can see how Mason’s qualities as a person suit his employee roles.
“He is quiet, patient and resilient, all the attributes needed for his challenging but obviously, rewarding role.”
Speaking of rewarding, his coach believes the number five will be rewarded for his patience on the field. “He is pushing to cement a starting spot in our very strong squad.”
“He is a great kid who continues to grow as a footballer. He is easy to coach and has improved out of sight.”
For Mason, the balance between work and play is just right.
“My work hours are suitable to fit around training schedules and match days. This is important so that I can give one hundred percent to both careers.”
The mature well-balanced defender on the field is always looking for improvement and it is the same in the classroom -trying to make a difference.
What is his secret to making a difference?
“You need patience, kindness and empathy.”