I am Nicholas, I am 15 years old and I have a vision; for all individuals to be accepted in society for who they are. My outlook on life is, if we all embrace each other’s differences, no matter what they are, the world will be a better place. I have a passion for face equality and kindness. I campaign through my art, singing, and motivational speeches, seeking a future of acceptance in all communities and cultures throughout the world.
I was born with a pre-cancerous large congenital melanocytic naevus covering 2/3 of my face. I underwent removal, leaving me with a lot of scarring on my face. I’m considered ‘disfigured’ by terminology under the ‘Disabilities Act’. This is a term I strongly disagree with and whilst I want equality, I also advocate for facial equality.
I have been severely bullied because of the way that I look. I believed people when they told me that I was worthless, when they told me I wouldn’t be anything because of the way I looked. But throughout the years, I have learnt that what we look like doesn’t define us. The only thing that can define us is our drive for change, the dreams we have and our actions. Throughout it all, we must always remain humble and true to what we believe in. It took a long time for me to realise the impact I could have on the world.
When I was in year 1, my teacher asked the class to draw themselves. I just drew a face as any child would. I didn’t see myself as different, just a round face with eyes, with a nose, with ears, a mouth, that’s it. This is how I saw myself in the mirror. I entered a competition for Kinder chocolate and successfully was 1 of 5 winners to have our picture on this very famous chocolate bar.
When I got older and people started picking out faults, they believed were wrong with my face, I then noticed lines and scars….and it made me think ‘oh I have scars’. And whilst they were telling me these were ugly, which made me feel bad about myself, I realised that actually these scars, were simply scars. Nothing more, nothing less.
My scars simply told me and showed everyone that I have been through something; a long hard journey of countless surgeries and I am still here standing.
I am a survivor; I am not a victim and now I am a proud Young Ambassador for Caring Matters Now completing Level 1 in 2021 after a year of rewarding events to raise awareness and funds for this charity. I am an accredited motivational speaker both internationally and here in the UK in schools, with charities and other events. I have received multi award winning awards both internationally and in the UK and will always campaign for equality and celebrate our differences. Through #art4voice campaigns I have advocated with my art and voice. In all that I have done both past, present and future, I stand proud of who I am with my CMN. Without CMN…maybe I wouldn’t be the person I am today.