Zach Opere-Onguende: The First Youth Member on the SEND Executive Board
Zach Opere-Onguende, a 23-year-old raised in Tottenham, was the first young person to join the SEND Youth Panel, now named Elevated Youth Haringey.
Elevated Youth Haringey aims to empower young people with lived experiences of Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND). The group meets together to voice their opinions, shape council services, and foster connections within the borough, all while having fun and making new friends.
The SEND Executive Board asked Zach to join their away day as a guest speaker sharing his experiences. Having attended SEND Voices Day, a coproduction event in February 2023, Zach jumped to contribute his voice at the Board's away day. "I am always keen to make a change for other young people," said Zach. Before the Board meeting, he met with Mary Jarrett, Head of SEND Service, for a briefing to fully understand the process and plan his contribution. "This helped a lot," said Zach.
During the away day, the Board examined the Voices Day Report findings, the SEND strategy evidence and impact, and Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP) self-assessment findings.
Recognizing his exceptional leadership qualities, the Board invited Zach to join as a representative for young people!
He has become the first young person to join the SEND Executive Board, an influential body responsible for shaping the direction and design of SEND services. This appointment marks a significant milestone, as Zach's insights and perspectives will directly impact the decision-making processes of the Board, bringing a fresh and vital voice to the table.
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