"To inspire and motivate young people to realise their potential by valuing education and understanding how to succeed in the world of work"
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East & Dublin

ICON Plc to Inspire Young Minds in Dublin

IconICON Plc volunteers are ready to visit schools throughout Dublin

JAI are delighted to welcome ICON Plc as a new supporting organisation this school year.

Founded and headquartered in Ireland, ICON is a global leader in clinical research and one of Ireland’s most successful indigenous companies, employing almost 14,000 people in 40 countries. The company’s mission is to help customers to accelerate the development of drugs and devices that save lives and improve quality of life.

Volunteers from ICON will help bring a passion for business and STEM subjects (science, technology, engineering and maths) to primary and second level students throughout Dublin. Students will also learn the link between subjects they study in school and the world of work.

ICON staff members attended a recent JAI information meeting to hear about the work of Junior Achievement in the local community. Staff members were given a taste of the programmes we offer to local schools, including launching a rocket as part of the Futurewize programme (sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland) and decision making as part of the Our Community programme.

The response was extremely enthusiastic and all volunteers have begun their programmes in the classrooms in recent weeks. Response from ICON volunteers has been extremely positive.

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Building SMART skills for better financial futures

Arrow Global starts a new partnership with JA Europe to equip thousands of young people in Europe with financial literacy skills.

ArrowArrow Global volunteers after their Balancing Act programme with students from Assumption Secondary School, Dublin 12

Today, it is more important than ever before that young people leave school with a good understanding of financial literacy. To help them make responsible and informed decisions as consumers of financial services, Arrow Global PLC has teamed up with Junior Achievement Europe to deliver financial education across six countries in Europe.

Based on successful partnerships with JAI and JA Portugal, Arrow Global decided to expand the programme to the UK, Albania, Italy and the Netherlands Commenting on the partnership with JA Europe, Lee Rochford, Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “I’m delighted Arrow is partnering with Junior Achievement Europe to equip around 2,200 young people with vital employability and financial literacy skills. This is perfectly aligned with our Group-wide Purpose, which is to build better financial futures for our customers but also the communities where we operate. I’m excited by this partnership and that over 200 of our employees will benefit from helping young people.”

arrow 3Arrow Global volunteer Claire Stapleton presents a student with her Certificate of AchievementTo celebrate the expansion of the partnership, students from Assumption Secondary School, Walkinstown, Dublin 12 participated in the Balancing Act financial literacy programme led by volunteers from Arrow Global's Dublin office.

As a leading European credit and asset management business, Arrow Global purpose is to Build Better Financial Futures for all its stakeholders including communities where it operates. Arrow Global considers financial education as an essential life skill that makes young people more attractive to employers, as well as essential to take responsible financial decisions as adults. By involving schools in those six countries, JA programmes run throughout the year and help young people understand the link between good financial skills and a successful business or professional life.

At JA, we see financial literacy as a key skill that supports long-term outcomes like entrepreneurship and employability. We aim to ensure financial education becomes part of the curriculum within entrepreneurship education modules. Eventually, skills-based volunteering schemes like this one with Arrow Global contributes to bridging the financial skills gap and equip young people to succeed in a global economy,” added Caroline Jenner, CEO of JA Europe.

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Students Career Ready after 18 Month Programme

SON1874 0155Pictured at the Career Ready Graduation are Louise Acedera from Our Lady of Mercy College Beaumont; Alan De Lacy, mentor from Central Bank of Ireland; Jamie O’Connor from St. Paul’s CBS and Ciara White from Loreto College Crumlin

Students from three Dublin schools have graduated from the Career Ready programme supported by Citi. To mark the completion of their two year employability programme the students were joined by the business volunteers who had worked as their mentors, representatives of supporting organisations and special guests Dublin GAA star Dean Rock and Lord Mayor Nial Ring at a special event kindly hosted by Central Bank of Ireland, Dublin 1.

SON1874 0067Students from Loreto College Crumlin enjoying their presentationCareer Ready develops students’ potential by enabling their involvement in a range of activities including being paired with a business mentor for 18 months, visiting workplaces, attending masterclasses and completing work placements. The overall aims of Career Ready 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 2016-2018 cohort comprises thirty students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St; Loreto College, Crumlin and Our Lady of Mercy, Beaumont.

SON1874 0104Special guest Dean Rock provided insights into overcoming obstaclesSpecial guest Dean Rock congratulated the students on taking their first steps in the world of work and reinforced the importance of role models and pushing oneself to achieve your goals: “You have shown your commitment to your own future success by completing the Career Ready programme. Take the skills and confidence you have gained from this experience and build on them, allow the programme to inspire you to fulfil your potential. With the right attitude you can do anything you set your mind to.”

Research has borne out that there is a great value in involving volunteers from the world of work to help young people make connections between what they are studying in school and the ‘real world’. The importance of role models in helping us learn and develop is fundamental. When caring adults are involved in education, students do better in school and life, adults become empowered, and schools and communities grow stronger. 

SON1874 0078Students from St. Paul's CBS during their presentationThe Career Ready 2016-18 mentors, as well as masterclasses and school to work visits, were provided by A& L Goodbody, Accenture, Amundi, BNY Mellon, Citi, Core, Dell, Deloitte, Diageo, LinkedIn, JLL, Pfizer, Standard Life and TV3.

Pat McCormack, Principal of St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St, said that: "St Paul's CBS has been involved with the Career Ready programme since its introduction and it has proved to be a fantastic partnership. Career Ready presents rich opportunities for students to explore interests and broaden horizons as they meet professionals from a wide range of businesses and industries. For teachers it provides opportunities to work in tandem with those professionals in supporting and developing the student experience. For those professionals and businesses it offers a great chance to enrich their work, to reach into their communities and to benefit from the enthusiasm and talents that our students bring to the programme.  Long may Career Ready prosper!"

SON1874 0051Our Lady of Mercy graduates express their thanks to their mentorsCecilia Ronan, Citi Ireland CCO, referred to the benefits from her perspective when reflecting that: “For my colleagues & I, Career Ready offers a structured, well-designed and meaningful programme to support students from local communities. When they join us on internships and participate in masterclasses, they remind all of us of the diverse range of talents that go into making up a successful team. It is always a joy to share their youthful enthusiasm!"

On behalf of JAI, CEO Helen Raftery said: “Research shows that working with ‘real-world’ volunteers helps young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives, which is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school, take full advantage of their education and maximise their potential. The Career Ready students have developed over the past 18 months into enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Thank you to Citi and all our corporate partners for their support of the Career Ready initiative and the Central Bank of Ireland for hosting this celebratory event.”


SON1874 0063Pat McCormack, Principal of St. Paul’s CBS, spoke about the impact of the Career Ready programme

SON1874 0074Sharon Donnery, Deputy Governor of the Central Bank, spoke about her time in Loreto Crumlin as a student

SON1874 0100Our Career Ready mentors with JAI CEO Helen Raftery and special guests Lord Mayor Nial Ring and GAA star Dean Rock

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Students have Fun with Fintech!

Bloomberg 1

71 students from two Dublin schools enjoyed the opportunity to expand their levels of financial capability by participating in intensive workshops run in partnership with Bloomberg.

‘Fintech for Students’ is designed to enable students to understand how to manage their own personal finances as well as gaining an insight into the intersection between personal economics, online banking, and e-commerce.

Bloomberg 2The opportunity to work with the students from St James’s Primary School, Dublin 8 and Our Lady of Good Counsel Boys National School, Drimnagh, Dublin 12, was made possible because of a gift from Bloomberg. Involving business volunteers from Diageo and SQS in facilitating the intensive workshop, hosted at the Digital Hub, ensured that the opportunity to encourage the students to get excited about entrepreneurship and to link their studies to the world of work was also maximised.

Ms. Fox, a teacher in St James’ Street Primary, said: “The chance to participate in this workshop in the Digital Hub is fantastic for the students. In addition to getting the chance to acquire and practice basic financially literacy and money-management skills, which is reinforcing someof the skills and concepts we work on in school, it’s a great chance for them to envision their own futures in a Bloomberg 3workplace. We all loved our morning – thanks to Bloomberg and all involved in making it happen.”

Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI, commented: “We are delighted to provide these opportunities with the support of our partner schools and organisations. It’s great to see the students getting the chance to practice new skills in a very exciting learning environment at the Digital Hub, and to see them gain confidence in knowing how to succeed in today’s evolving, global economy.”

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Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair Engineers an Interest in STEM


On 17 May, one hundred 6th class students from Talbot National School, Clondalkin enjoyed specially-developed workshops facilitated by volunteers at the Johnson & Johnson (J&J) Science Fair in partnership with JAI.

Taking place at the Institute of Technology Tallaght (IT Tallaght) the Johnson & Johnson Science Fair enabled primary school students to gain Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics, Manufacturing, and Design (STEM2D) skills and learn more about STEM-related roles, while particular emphasis was given to girls interacting with female role models at the workshops.

JJ Volunteer Siobhan Murphy with students Andrea Thorp Lolly SaluJ&J Volunteer Siobhan Murphy with students Andrea Thorp and Lolly SaluThe interactive workshops led by trained Johnson & Johnson volunteers ranged from designing a new “medicine”, taking on the role of biomedical scientists, and conducting laboratory research to working as engineers to consider design concepts. An overview of the different opportunities to study STEM-related courses at IT Tallaght and an address from the College Registrar, along with a tour of the campus by student ambassadors were also important elements of the day.

The Johnson & Johnson WiSTEM2D Youth Programme has been designed to advance STEM2D education, specifically of young women and girls globally, through community-based partnerships to reach over 1 million girls by 2020.

The Johnson & Johnson’s Science Fair is just one of many opportunities afforded to students thanks to J&J’s support of JAI. Across Campus Ireland, 175 J&J volunteers will reach 2,350 young people this school year through Junior Achievement programmes designed to encourage young people to remain in education and help them to develop the skills they need to succeed in a changing world.

Cathal Carty, Home School Liaison Officer at Talbot National School, commented: “Our students thoroughly enjoyed the J&J Science Fair as it really brought the STEM subjects to life in a fun accessible way. Our J&J volunteers were great role models from industry, who underlined the range of career opportunities flowing from STEM subjects.”

JJ1J&J volunteers celebrate with students from Talbot National SchoolLeisha Daly, Country Director at Janssen Sciences Ireland UC, part of the J&J family of companies, said: “It is vitally important to develop an interest in STEM before students enter second level education. The need to ensure more women see a future for themselves in STEM industries is well documented. Initiatives like the Johnson & Johnson Science Fair, in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland, is an inventive way of tackling this issue.”

Helen Raftery, Chief Executive of JAI, said: “The educational value of students working with role models and getting the chance to learn in a different environment is well-established. Thanks to J&J, the students participating in the J&J Science Fair at IT Tallaght had a very exciting introduction to a variety of interesting topics in the workshops on campus. It is particularly pleasing to note that the girls attending today got so much encouragement to reach their full potential by considering one of the many careers available to them in to STEM2D -related roles.”

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