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East & Dublin

Career Academies 2013-2015: A Celebration of Achievement

Career AcademiesGuest dignitaries celebrating with Career Academies graduates from St. Paul's CBS Secondary School, North Brunswick Street, Dublin 7 

Citi, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1 was the venue for a very special event on 11th November as 29 students from three Dublin schools were joined by the business volunteers who had worked as their mentors, and their special guests Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin & Jim Gavin, Dublin GAA Manager, to mark the completion of their 18 month Career Academies programme.

Cathal ODalyCathal O'Daly of Citi welcoming the guestsIn welcoming the Minister, Jim Gavin and each guest, Cathal O’Daly on behalf of Citi, outlined the organisation’s ongoing commitment to its corporate and social responsibility programming. “At Citi we are particularly committed to promoting the value of education and I’m delighted to be joined by so many like-minded leaders here today. When it comes to our involvement in Junior Achievement, we have seen the benefits at first-hand for our staff as well as the students as they enjoy working through all of the well-designed activities together. The learning outcomes are clear for both the student and the volunteer. It’s a win-win for all involved.”

Formally opening the event, Minister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, T.D. congratulated the students, teachers and mentors and all of the supporting organisations involved in the Junior Achievement Career Academies programme 2013-2015.  The Minister told the gathering: “As a former teacher and school principal, I MinisterMinister Aodhán Ó Ríordáin congratulates the graduateshave seen at first-hand how responsive young people can be when given an opportunity to shine. I am delighted therefore, to be here today to recognise each of the 29 students who, when given the chance to participate in this fantastic initiative, took maximum advantage.”

In concluding his remarks the Minister wished each student every success in the future and paid special tribute to the volunteer mentors who had shown such commitment and dedication to completing the programme with their students over the course of the two school years.  

The overall aims of the JA Career Academies initiative are to help students to recognise their potential, to develop and increase their employability skills, support their academic work and introduce them to the world of work.  The programme runs over two school years and the 2013-2015 cohort comprises thirty students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St, Loreto College Crumlin and Cabinteely Community School.

Chloe & Lola from Loreto Crumlin describing their Career Academies experienceReflecting on their experiences, a number of students addressed the audience to thank the mentors and the many supporting organisations involved, which had enabled all of the students selected to enjoy participating in what one student described as a ‘life-changing’ programme.

On behalf of the teachers and participating schools, Mary Kelleher from Loreto Crumlin thanked all of the supporting organisations and the mentors and had a special word of praise for Junior Achievement Ireland: “Our responsibility to our students is to ensure they gain access to as many educational opportunities as possible so that they can develop their own skills and interests as the basis for a fulfilling career. Working with JAI we know the business volunteer will be well-trained and well-briefed. From my perspective I see the girls grow up as they progress through second level and those lucky enough to be involved in the Career Academies programme gain hugely from the experience.”

Cecilia Ronan, Chief Administrative Officer, Citi congratulated every graduate and presented each with a certificate of completion, and commended every one of the mentors for their willingness to get involved.

Jim Gavin Keynote Speaker Jim Gavin covered many themes including the power of role models.

His keynote address illustrated why Jim Gavin, Dublin GAA Football Manager is regarded as one of the best managers of his generation – his inspirational words and messages of encouragement to the students and their families left everyone in attendance feeling hugely positive. Every graduate was told by the guest of honour: “you have shown your commitment to your own success by completing the Career Academies programme.  I really hope you can lodge the confidence gained in your memory banks and know that you can achieve anything that you set your mind to – be resilient, be determined, work with the positive influences around you and you will succeed." His parting entreaty to all the guests was a fitting way to formally close the CA 2013-15 programme: "Be the best you can be.”

Many thanks again to all involved especially the following JAI-supporting organisations, without whose support CA 2013-15 could not have run: 3M, A & L Goodbody, Accenture, AIB, Astra Zeneca, AXA, Barclays, BNY Mellon, Careworks, Cartrawler, Certus, Citi, Cpl, Dell, JLL, LeasePlan, Leo Pharma, LinkedIn, Lisney, Microsoft, Pioneer Investments, Salesforce, Sherry Fitzgerald, StateStreet, Sunday Business Post and TV3.

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Generous Grant from AIG Supports Local Students

Nora McGrath AIGNora McGrath, AIG with students from St. Joseph's CBS Secondary School, Dublin 3

AIG continues its global support of Junior Achievement through a generous grant and JA Ireland has been chosen as one of the 19 recipients! JA will use the grant to teach hundreds primary school students in schools across Dublin this year in work readiness, entrepreneurship and personal finance programmes. As part of the partnership AIG employees will engage as dedicated classroom teachers and capstone volunteers as well as support other special events held by JAI throughout the year.

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Students Gain Confidence from Pfizer Grange Castle Mock Interviews

Pfizer Mock Interviews 14th October 2015Pfizer Grange Castle kindly invited 15 sixth year Leaving Cert Applied students from Deansrath Community College in Clondalkin onsite to meet Pfizer Grange Castle’s staff who gave up their time to help the students develop a professional edge in interview skills and techniques.

Students sat a mock job interview and received invaluable feedback from the Pfizer professionals.  Working in groups the students also practiced their decision-making skills by solving workplace problems. Students gained a valuable insight into the kind of job opportunities available to them in organisations like Pfizer. 

Deirdre Reilly, teacher at Deansrath Communty College, said "it was an absolutely fantastic opportuntity for the students to see such an interesting workplace and they gained a lot of confidence from interacting with Pfizer Grange Castle staff." Many thanks to the Pfizer Grange Castle volunteers on the day.

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XILINX & JAI Celebrate 20 Years in Ireland

To celebrate 20 years in Ireland, Kevin Cooney & his colleagues at XILINX invited representatives from each of their community partnerships to lunch recently! JAI is delighted to be among a select number of fantastic initiatives, such as Án Cosán, GOAL, IT Tallaght & The Barrettstown Gang; which are supported by XILINX. 


XILINX and JAI is celebrating five years in partnership this year and in that time 96 volunteers have worked with 1,503 local students. This is a significant investment of resources as it equates to over 1,000 staff hours in fulfilling requests from local schools for JA programmes & events. While there is great fun involved, partnering with XILINX on targeted projects like Make Maths Matter, allows us to report significant learning as well.

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More Than Money with HSBC

Sincere thanks to HSBC Holdings plc for their continued support of JA More than Money More than 387,000 students in more than 40 countries have learned about earning, spending, sharing and saving money. To date, almost 6,300 HSBC employees have volunteered to lead JA More than Money around the world! HSBC Holdings plc has committed a total of $11.8 million (USD) to teach children about earning, spending, sharing and saving money through JA More than Money. Thank you!

1,250 students in Ireland took part in JA More than Money this year with the help of 18 HSBC volunteers.  Pictured is HSBC volunteer Ray Bevins with his class from Kildare place, Rathmines enjoying their last day of the JA More than Money programme!

More Than Money

Read more about the global nature of the HSBC sponsorship of JA More than Money at: http://www.hsbc.com/citizenship/sustainability/youth-education and https://www.jaworldwide.org/inside-ja/Our-Partners/Pages/HSBC.aspx


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