Graduate helps fellow students by sharing his experience of autism

Rhys Jenkins

Rhys Jenkins, will proudly receive his Master’s degree at Swansea University’s graduation ceremony today (Tuesday 26 January) at the Brangwyn Hall, Swansea.

Rhys, now aged 24, was diagnosed with Autism when he was 16 years old. He had successfully completed a Law Degree at Cardiff University prior to coming to Swansea University to complete the MSc in Autism and Related Conditions course.

Living with Autism has its own unique challenges and Rhys’s contributions to the teaching sessions over this past year have been invaluable. Often during lectures, Rhys would speak from his own perspective and share his experiences with his colleagues, this provided each student with a rich insight and understanding about autism. Rhys has become recognised as an  Ambassador for Autism in Wales.

During his time with the Swansea University, Rhys has conducted several seminar talks for the Medical School and SU Student Union. Whilst the course, at times, has been challenging, Rhys has met these challenges with confidence, determination and grace.

Since completing the course and achieving a merit, Rhys has go on to develop a training business called Autvantage, winning a prize during Global Enterprise Week and a high commendation at the Swansea Start-up weekend event. In addition Autvantage is to become a part of a new Medical School initiative called the Swansea Hub for Autism Research and Education (SHARE) as the business has been approved as an Affiliate of the Institute of Life Sciences.

Speaking about his experience at Swansea University Rhys said:

“Throughout my life I’ve always felt incomplete and that I was lacking information on who I truly was. Going through this experience has felt like the culmination of a 23 year journey to find out who I am. My job is to help people and this experience has helped teach me how I can do that. In that sense, it has changed the way I see life forever.”