A Scartaglin teenager who was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome when he was four-years-of-age has won a Garda Youth Achievement Distinction Award at the recent awards function at the Ballyroe Heights Hotel outside Tralee.
Luke Scollard was one of a hundred nominations for the awards initially. On selection night 26 finalists were honoured for their selfless acts of charity and commitment to their communities. There were 21 merit certificates presented and four distinction awards and Luke’s name was on one of those.
“She does this after work and is a great help to me. I think there should be an award for people like her,” – Luke Scollard on the kindness of his friend and neighbour, Catriona O’Connor.
“I’m attending St. Ita’s and St. Joseph’s Baloonagh, Tralee and I’m in my Junior Cert year. When I was starting in the school I decided to take a few cookery lessons because Domestic Science is one of the subjects in that school which I had a little taster of,” said Luke.
“I had cookery lessons before this from the Brothers of Charity and I liked it. I needed a teacher and Catriona O’Connor – who works in the Good Table Restaurant in Castleisland – has given me lessons every Tuesday evening since then – free of charge.
She does this after work and is a great help to me. I think there should be an award for people like her,” said Luke on the kindness of his friend and neighbour.
“I have learned to cook full dinners, desserts and baking and I like the baking best. Last year I decided to enter the Kingdom County Fair with some baking and I came away with ten trophies and rosettes.
I then decided to do the Christmas Markets. In 2013 I just did Scartaglin and in Christmas 2014 I did Knocknagoshel, Scartaglin and Firies. The proceeds from those went to my school because they put on a new extension and were fundraising for it.”
“For the markets I chose to do sweets and cookies which I packaged and I put my own label on them. My parents helped me to get my own pop up stands and also with my labels They gave me advise on food allergies etc. There is a lot to learn and I hope to keep it on and see where it takes me,” Luke concluded.
Luke was diagnosed with Aspergers when he was four years of age. He attended mainstream primary school in Scartaglin where he made many friends. He is now in second level in Tralee and, as you may gather from the enthusiasm of his reaction to his award, he is doing brilliantly.
“Luke hasn’t let anything hold him back. He won his award for his fundraising and entrepreneurial efforts,” said his proud mom, Lucy.
©The Maine Valley Post 2015