Joshua Beckford is recognised internationally in over 90 countries for his extraordinary educational achievements.
A 12-year-old child Prodigy who is diagnosed with Autism, Joshua has already achieved more than most neuro-typical people in the world. At 2 years old, he quickly mastered reading fluently using phonics and was speaking Japanese by the age of 3. At the age of 6 he became the youngest person in the world to study Philosophy and History at Oxford University, gaining a distinction in both subjects. Joshua enjoys fund-raising for three Autism Charities, one in the U.K and two in Africa, and campaigns to save the environment. Last year, he wrote and presented a Poem ‘Saving Mother Earth’ at the TED x International Conference in Vienna. Joshua also designs and delivers Power-Point presentations on Human Anatomy at Community fund-raising events to audiences ranging from 200 to 3,000 people. We spoke with Joshua after he won The Positive Role Model Award for Age at The National Diversity Awards 2017. Here’s what he had to say:
What were your thoughts on the other shortlisted nominees within your category?
Congratulations to all those Short- listed and each category of winners. They are the most incredible inspiring people who all deserve to be recognised for making a difference to people’s lives all over the U.K.
What were your thoughts after winning The Positive Role Model Award for Age?
I was so excited and happy. Although I have won many awards I still find it hard to believe that I won the National Diversity Positive Role Model for Age. During the announcements I closed my eyes and crossed my fingers and when I opened my eyes I heard my name being called as the winner. It was also so exciting to be dining in Liverpool Cathedral.
What reaction have you received from supporters/fellow employees since winning the award?
Lots of people has been sending me congratulations on social media. I saw that I was mentioned on the front page of the Liverpool Echo Newspaper and page 10 of the Voice. Just after the award I was shortlisted for yet another award from the Black British Entertainment Awards (BBE) and I was interviewed by Rosie Osbourne who interviews inspirational artists from around the world. An art dealer who owns an Art Gallery has purchased on of my drawings for his private collection. It’s really exciting to have my drawing displayed alongside famous adult artists in a Gallery. I am also featured in a new magazine called Stories of Success (S.O.S) produced by Black Youth Achievement and sponsored by University College London (UCL). This magazine highlights the success stories of African and African Caribbean people. 5,000 hard copies will be distributed Schools, Colleges and Universities across the U.K.
Now that you have won a National Diversity Award, what are you going to go from here? What are your next steps?
The National Diversity Award has allowed me to continue to inspire even more people. I am getting more speaking invitations than I can comfortably fit in. I have been invited to speak to young children who are running their own business at Price water House Cooper Offices in London Bridge
In your own words, how do you feel the work you are carrying out is making a difference?
I think that my story is making a big difference to children everywhere who read about me. We get lots of positive comments on social media each day. It difficult to reply to all the comments. I have even appeared on an American Health website called Hearty Soul which has 2 million subscribers.
Why do you think it is important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion?
It’s important to highlight Diversity, Equality and Inclusion because it reflects how the world really is and it gives companies and organisations who promote Diversity, Equality and Inclusion an advantage over their competitors.
Who or What is your inspiration?
My greatest inspiration is the ancient Egyptian father of Medicine and Multi-Genius Imhotep who lived 2,700 BC and my dad who taught me from when I was very young. This give me the confidence to dream big and know that I can achieve virtually anything.
The National Diversity Awards 2017 Post Awards Winners Interview What were your thoughts on The National Diversity Awards Ceremony?
I find the National Diversity Awards Winners interviews very inspiring. It was the largest collection of the most incredible people who are all helping to make the world a better place in one room. The ceremony was “out of this world” It’s the Golden Globe Awards for ordinary people to be recognised and treated like celebrities for making a difference to the lives of others. The Awards Ceremony will help to start to make positive change in the world.
Did you enjoy your evening?
I really enjoyed the evening which I will never forget. Everyone was looking smart and the entertainment was excellent. Just sorry I wasn’t allowed to go to the party because I was too young.