Paul D. Schreiber High School student empowers community through education on Tourette Syndrome

Paul D. Schreiber High School student empowers community through education on Tourette Syndrome
Lucas Lardoux in Washington D.C. lobbying for legislation to support TAA initiatives. (Photo provided by Port Washington UFSD).

Lucas Lardoux, an 11th grade student at Schreiber High School, is stepping up to raise awareness and foster understanding of Tourette syndrome within his community and across the state.

Diagnosed with Tourette syndrome himself, Lucas has undertaken specialized training through the Tourette Association of America to become a Youth Ambassador, with a mission to educate and inspire.

Lucas’ initiative stems from his personal journey with Tourette Syndrome and a deep-seated desire to dispel myths and misconceptions surrounding the condition.

His goal in Port Washington for the 2023-24 school year was to engage with every fifth-grade student in the Port Washington School District by the end of the academic year, sharing insights and facilitating exercises to try and make others understand what it might feel like to have Tourette Syndrome.

“When people ask me why I wanted to become a Youth Ambassador, the short answer is I wanted to pave an easier path for kids struggling with the symptoms of this diagnosis.  The amazing offshoot has been that the presentations also ended up teaching tolerance and understanding for all kids struggling with something. I am teaching them that nobody is defined by their challenges” said Lucas. “I have had so much fun doing these presentations and interacting with the students and I am looking forward to continuing in the next academic year in Port Washington.”

Supported by the Tourette Association of America, his training has allowed him to deliver educational and general community presentations effectively.  The sessions span all levels of education and can also be helpful to community programs, camps, and in many professional work settings.

These sessions aim to promote understanding, reduce stigma, and encourage peer empathy. In addition to the presentations, Lucas has lobbied for educational and health-related legislation on Capitol Hill with state and local representatives.  Speaking from experience, he was able to share a personal perspective on why change is needed.

“We are immensely proud of Lucas’ dedication to raising awareness about Tourette Syndrome,” said Dr. Michael Hynes, superintendent of the Port Washington School District. “His passion and commitment exemplify the impact that individuals can have within their communities, and we are honored to support him in this important endeavor.”

Lucas’ endeavor not only reflects his personal resilience but also underscores the power of student-led initiatives in effecting positive change. By fostering dialogue and understanding, he is paving the way for a more inclusive and compassionate community.

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