August 14, 2022

An 18-year-old celebrates getting his dream job aboard the Spirit of Vancouver Island.

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Ever since Joshua Yeng was 5 years previous and boarded his first ferry throughout the Strait of Georgia to go to his grandparents, he has dreamed of working for BC Ferries.

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In April, the 18-year-old, whose ardour for public transport led him to construct his personal fleet of small mannequin ferries, labored his first shift as a sailor on the 167-meter Spirit of Vancouver Island.

“A dream come true,” stated Jung, a Langford resident who was identified with autism at age 15.

“A typical false impression is that each one sailors do is assist individuals park their vehicles after which go get espresso,” the teenager stated. “Nevertheless, we’re doing far more. I may even steer a ship.

One of many youngest workers at BC Ferries, his job is to information a whole bunch of passenger autos to and from the ferry and carry out upkeep and security duties, together with monitoring the water for potential hazards whereas crusing between Tzawwassen and Schwartz Bay north of Victoria.


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Joshua Jung holds up a replica of the ferry he built at school.  Joshua Jung, who was diagnosed with autism at 15, built his own fleet of ferries using household items including cardboard, toothpicks and straws for school projects.  Joshua works as a sailor for BC Ferries.
Joshua Jung holds up a duplicate of the ferry he constructed at college. Joshua Jung, who was identified with autism at 15, constructed his personal fleet of ferries utilizing home items together with cardboard, toothpicks and straws for college tasks. Joshua works as a sailor for BC Ferries. PNG

His path to paid work was not simple, Jung admitted.

By the point {the teenager} reached tenth grade, his dad and mom stated that the workers at his earlier highschool had informed them that Jung would more than likely not graduate.

Shelly Donald, director of the Wheatcliffe Agile Studying Centre, a personal highschool in Langley accredited by the British Columbia Division of Schooling, stated Yang graduated from a public college with modified credit score scores for an Evergreen Certificates of Completion out there to college students with particular wants. designation.

“To get his highschool diploma, Josh needed to retake all of his tenth grade programs.”

For the Whitecliff lecturers, together with math instructor Donald, the problem is to revive scholar confidence of their skills.


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“A number of the youngsters that come right here have a really dangerous expertise within the public college system and so they begin to hate college due to it,” Donald stated. “With the intention to captivate Josh, we included BC Ferries in nearly each doable topic.”

Whereas Younger spent hours at school constructing his fleet of ferries from scratch utilizing home items together with cardboard, toothpicks and straws, Donald measured the fashions for mathematical accuracy.

“He was capable of study the idea of scale, proportion, margin of error, and different curricula by making fashions.”

Childhood photo: Joshua Yeung's interest in BC Ferries dates back to more than 10 years when he traveled by ferry to Denman Island with his family as a child to visit his grandparents.
Childhood photograph: Joshua Yeung’s curiosity in BC Ferries dates again to greater than 10 years when he traveled by ferry to Denman Island along with his household as a toddler to go to his grandparents. Photograph by Invoice Jung /PNG

The skill-based method to studying was an on the spot success.

“Josh did increasingly of what’s anticipated of a typical class project as a result of he was so targeted on the subject of public transportation,” stated Donald. “I had little question that he would grow to be a sailor. Generally that was all he might speak about.”


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Alongside along with his industriousness, Jung’s distinctive cognitive skills allowed him to breed a number of the particulars of the ferry for his fashions from reminiscence.

After graduating final yr, one of many first issues {the teenager} did was to use for an entry-level job with BC Ferries. Having acquired the mandatory coaching abilities, on April 18, Jung volunteered to work on his first shift.

“I am so glad I by no means gave up,” he stated. “I encourage others to do the identical, to beat difficulties or disappointments. For me, it was anxiousness earlier than exams.”

Joshua Yeung, 18, began working in early April as a deckhand on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, British Columbia.
Joshua Yeung, 18, started working in early April as a deckhand on the Spirit of Vancouver Island, British Columbia. Photograph by Francis Georgian /PNG

Two BC Ferries replicas of the younger worker are on show within the again workplace of the Spirit of Vancouver Island on which he works. One other returned to Whitecliff with a few of his former lecturers and classmates.


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“When new kids come to our program, they see the ferry and ask: “Who did this?” We inform them Josh’s story,” Donald stated. “They are saying: “Look what he can do! He was additionally on the spectrum. If he can, then I can.”

Now the formidable 18-year-old goals of changing into the captain of the BC Ferries and safely ferrying passengers over the slender Energetic Go by the Persian Gulf islands.

“Each time I placed on my uniform, steel-toed boots, hat and jacket, I smile,” Yeng stated. “It is such a great feeling.”

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