Cork teen author crowned Foróige Innovator of the Year for her comic series exploring life with Asperger’s

Cork teen author crowned Foróige Innovator of the Year for her comic series exploring life with Asperger’s

Jessica (Jessie) Griffin at The Life Centre, Winter's Hill, Cork. Picture: Larry Cummins

A TEENAGE Cork author has been crowned Foróige Innovator of the Year 2020 for her comic series exploring life with Asperger’s Syndrome.

Jessica Griffin, aged 18, is a sixth year student at the Cork Life Centre and was awarded the prestigious title for her business, Jessie GH Designs One Piece Missing.

The comic is a real-life series aimed at educating people about what it’s like to live with Asperger’s. 

Being diagnosed with Asperger’s as a child, Jessica wanted to create a comic book series to make Autism easier to understand. 

Growing up there was no one in books or on television that reflected Jessica’s life and so One Piece Missing was born. 

Her goal with the comic series is to provide knowledge, comfort and support to people living with Autism. 

She was announced as Innovator of the Year 2020 in a ceremony held via Zoom last week.

Speaking about the impact of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) Programme, Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige lauded it for its transformative potential. 

"The NFTE Programme changes the lives of young people by enabling them to develop core skills in business and enterprise, and in doing so, helping them to unlock their individual talents and potential. 

"It puts the career path of 'entrepreneur' firmly in the sights of the young participants and gives them an 'I can and I will' attitude that is quite remarkable. 

"This attitude has enabled these young people to persevere through the past few turbulent months, to continue with the programme and to develop their impressive businesses," he said.

"Against the backdrop of a global pandemic, the young people of NFTE showed their resilience and determination to continue with over 90% of participants continuing with their businesses and completing the programme.

"The winning groups will also have the thrilling opportunity to represent Ireland at the European Youth Entrepreneur Awards in Vienna in 2021," Mr Campbell continued. 

Over 4,000 young people and 120 Schools and Youth Projects right across the country took part in the programme this year.

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