Teenager who’ll use his voice to fight for justice is from Mississauga

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Published March 4, 2024 at 11:02 am

Mississauga Easter Seals ambassador 2024 Shamil Sohail.
Shamil Sohail intends to utilize his personal experiences to promote awareness, inspire and contribute positively to the lives of those with disabilities as the 2024 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassador. (Photo: Easter Seals Ontario)

At 15 years of age, Shamil Sohail says he has found his voice — and he plans to use it to fight for justice and “greater inclusivity and access in all facets of life.”

The Mississauga teen is one of two 2024 Provincial Easter Seals Ambassadors as chosen by Easter Seals Ontario, which has provided programs and services for children and youth with physical disabilities since 1922.

“I want to use my experiences to raise awareness, inspire others and contribute to making a positive impact on the lives of individuals with disabilities,” said Shamil, who’ll partner with Chloe Fraser, 12, of Stayner (southeast of Collingwood) as ambassadors who’ll travel Ontario this year sharing their stories, developing their advocacy skills and helping to empower others to speak up for themselves.

“My mission is clear,” the Mississauga teen continued. “To be a source of inspiration and a voice for those who are yet to find theirs. I’m dedicated to highlighting the remarkable impact that Easter Seals Ontario has on individuals with special needs.”

In its 77th year, the Easter Seals Ontario Provincial Ambassador program selects two youths with physical disabilities each year to represent the organization.

“The program provides a unique platform for young ambassadors to share their stories and develop advocacy skills, empowering them to speak up for themselves and others,” Easter Seals Ontario spokesperson Rebecca Mudrick said in a news release. “Through their efforts, they can encourage more kids with disabilities to pursue their dreams and make a positive impact.”

Mudrick added that Shamil, who was born with spina bifida and gets around with the assistance of a power wheelchair, “intends to utilize his personal experiences to promote awareness, inspire and contribute positively to the lives of those with disabilities” during his time as an ambassador.

“Driven by his passion for justice, Shamil is looking forward to using his voice in his new role to advocate for greater inclusivity and access in all facets of life,” she noted.

The Easter Seals spokesperson said despite facing physical challenges, Shamil is largely independent in his activities, thanks to the support from his family and Easter Seals Ontario.

“Equipped with the proper tools and resources to reduce obstacles along his path and help pave his journey of growth, Shamil is looking ahead to his future,” Mudrick said, adding the teen wants to become a lawyer specializing in helping people with disabilities, and ensuring equal rights and opportunities for all.

“Dedicated to his journey of self-discovery, Shamil is laying the foundation for both academic and personal growth. Shamil, with his infectious humour, love for adventure and dedication to justice, is set to make waves as a 2024 Easter Seals Ontario Provincial Ambassador.”

Shamil Sohail, 15, of Mississauga, and fellow Easter Seals Ambassador Chloe Fraser, 12, of Stayner. (Photo: Easter Seals Ontario)

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