Congratulations, Jackson Couture! December NC Kids Care Honoree

Our December NC Kids Care recipient, Jackson Couture, was recognized by the Board of Education during its Dec. 19 meeting. 

The Southgate fourth-grader was nominated by Reading Specialist Stella Callahan and Speech Pathologist Mandy Weinerman for his incredible commitment and leadership skills serving as a speech-language peer model for students with autism.

NC Kids Care is a long-standing recognition program intended to highlight once-a-month a student from any grade across K-12 who has gone “above-and-beyond.”

According to Ms. Callahan and Ms. Weinerman, “Jackson was always eager to attend his session, often showing up before the teacher and the student arrived. From his first game group session, it was clear that Jackson was there because of his nature, desire to support others, and willingness to help students with disabilities learn and thrive.

Southgate Speech Pathologist Mandy Weinerman (left) and Reading Specialist Stella Callahan nominated fourth-grader Jackson Couture for NC Kids Care recognition.

They further added, “Jackson’s gentle disposition and fun nature made his peers feel at ease and remained regulated with him. By the end of Jackson’s peer-model opportunity, he was leading the session. He was able to utilize all the non-verbal strategies, visual cues, and augmentative options without any adult support.”

Southgate parent Jaya Joseph, whose son has been receiving speech therapy says Jackson has been a vital part in the delivery of those services.

“Jackson has selflessly volunteered his time to support my son, as he learns to acquire social and language skills from his peers. Jackson is a wonderful role model for my son. He helps to demonstrate what being a good friend entails. His act of kindness toward my son has filled our family’s heart with gratitude. He helps all of us to understand that giving of one’s time to those who need our help is what true generosity is about. We thank you Jackson for being a good friend and mentor to our son Noah!”

In addition to supporting students with disabilities, this year Jackson has been asked to teach/train his neurotypical peers to become game group leaders.  During these sessions, Jackson demonstrates patience, knowledge, and a love for supporting and teaching others.

Outside of school, Jackson is a multi-sport athlete where he excels on the field as a player and teammate. He also participates in the Kindness Club that takes place at Bring on the Spectrum.

Congratulations, Jackson for going above above and beyond in such an impactful way!