the Mayday Club™ Story
The choir was foundedby 23-year-old UBC physics student and Forbes 30 Under 30 Nominee, Nicole Provost.
Provost is a young entrepreneur, who is also diagnosed with Asperger Syndrome. She started the organization after observing a lack of public education about autism and related neurological diversities – and learning how this lack of education led to a gap in the workforce.
Only 25% of adults with autism who are capable of working, are currently employed in British Columbia. The average lifetime cost of unemployment in such an individual is over $1,000,000 in taxpayer dollars, in adult care and lost productivity.
Provost believes that by educating the public about autism, and by fostering growth, instilling virtues and work ethic, and building skills in youth affected by autism, the Canadian economy will be stronger, and more diverse.
“I got my motivation to do this, when I realized that if you want change in society, someone needs to do it. And when I realized no one else was doing it, I’m like darn… I guess I have to do it…”
Nicole Provost has first-hand experience on what it is to not fit in. She empathizes with youth and young adults who experience bullying in school and in the workplace.
Nicole recalls that her family always pushed her to strive for excellence, work hard, not take short cuts, and never give up. The values that were instilled upon her growing up, have empowered her to become a resilient and entrepreneurially-oriented young adult.
Provost believes that the unique perspective and worldview that autism brings to affected individuals, can be a huge asset in the workplace.
In 2015, Nicole came up with the idea to start a children’s choir – with the hopes of decreasing stigmatization, providing young people with like-minded peers, and educating the public about autism.
While continuing her university studies and working at a local pizzeria, she spent the year of 2015 developing the idea, and putting together a team to help make this vision a reality. After just one year, thanks to the hard work of the team, support from the community, and a huge demand for what Mayday Club aims to accomplish, the initiative has evolved into a new, emerging volunteer-run organization dedicated to providing confidence-building opportunities for children, youth, and young adults with social challenges across the province and world-wide.
Nicole intends to write a book about how and why she started the choir, with the hopes of encouraging other young people affected by ASD, to follow their dreams, aim high, and never settle for anything less than excellence.