2020 SENIA Award Winners

 Raphael Moris 2020  SENIA Student Award Recipient

Raphael is in grade 9 at Stamford American International School in Singapore. He is an advocate for promoting awareness around autism as there are many misconceptions.

He along with four other friends at Stamford, put together a video addressing these misconceptions, providing information about autism and discussing what it means to be autistic.

Raphael spearheaded the annual autism week which has grown into a whole school event. Not only does he organize blue bracelets for students to wear, he also encourages students and faculty to wear blue in support of creating awareness surrounding autism. 

He also presents at his school wide assemblies and shares his message of inclusion to his peers from elementary to high school. The students in the elementary school loved speaking to Raphael about his experiences and treated him like a movie star.

Thank you, Raphael for making a difference in the world and creating awareness about autism!

 Ionelle Josiah Ferrer 2020 SENIA Honorary Award Recipient

Ionelle is enrolled in the University of Batangas, Lipa Campus, Philippines.

As a younger student, Ionelle found it difficult to communicate his thoughts and ideas but with support, he was able to move forward and remain in mainstream schooling. 

Ionelle is a gifted mathematician, winning many gold awards in middle and high school and a talented musician. He plays bass with his siblings in a band called “Splendio Tritus” whose songs advocate about autism.

To hear a sampling of a song he composed and dedicated to his special education teacher, click for music and lyrics.

He performed live with his band at the Mall of Asia Arena to over 25000+ attendees. He dedicated his performance to all his special education teachers who have supported him in his lifetime. His advocacy on behalf of people with autism has been featured in countless articles and he will be featured in a book to inspire people with disabilities. 

Thank you, Ionelle, for inspiring others to make a difference.

 Astrid Werne 2020 SENIA World Changer Award Recipient

Astrid is an 11-year old girl who attends NIST International School and has an enormous impact on her community. Astrid is a fearless trailblazer, a boundary-pusher, a precedent setter.

Often people underestimate what she can do, but she will set the record straight and usually exceed expectations. For example, Astrid was encouraged to learn to swim and then did a biathlon, or learning to read and now finishing reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  She has also transformed her community.

NIST’s conversations about inclusion and special needs are being led by passionate and dedicated advocates, a group of 10-and-11-year-old students. It’s no coincidence that the elementary school children leading the charge to be more inclusive are Astrid’s closest friends. They see inclusion as a ‘precious resource that makes everyone stronger and brings our community closer.’

They recognize that everyone in our community, including teachers, has the right to be in an inclusive classroom.

Congratulations, Astrid!

SENIA Student Award

The SENIA Student Award celebrates the achievements of a student or youth with disabilities; encourages awareness of the abilities and aspirations of children/youth with disabilities; and advocates on behalf of exceptional children in Asia.

Do you know a student with a disability who excels and creates awareness/advocates for special needs in Asia?  This is your opportunity to nominate a student who deserves some recognition for all they do.

The Nomination Process

Help us spread the word. Print the SENIA Student Award Poster and hang it at your school or around your community.

Questions about any of our awards are welcome. Please reach out to us: [email protected]