Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin Goes Back to School with Futurewize

Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin with students from Cabinteely Community School during the Futurewize programme developed by Junior Achievement Ireland co sponsored by Science Foundation Ireland Fidelity InvestmentsAoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin with students from Cabinteely Community School during the Futurewize programme

Dr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin has joined a JA volunteer in Cabinteely Community School in facilitating the Futurewize programme which aims to inspire young junior cycle students to explore career possibilities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM).

IMG 2398Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin with Kieran McEnery, Fidelity Investments; Jackie O'Dowd, SFI; and Rachel Slevin and Josh O'Dowd from Cabinteely Community SchoolDr Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin, Assistant Professor in the UCD School of Mathematics & Statistics and science communicator, is Brand Ambassador for Futurewize and was delighted to immerse herself in the programme, saying:  “The Futurewize programme is a fantastic opportunity for students to learn more about STEM subjects in a fun, interactive way and also be inspired by positive role models from industry who can provide them with an insight into what it is like to work in STEM related businesses. Today’s session really underlined the impact the programme can have on students, especially girls, who may not have thought a career in STEM was for them.”

Futurewize is supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and industry partner Fidelity Investments, and was designed by JAI for delivery by business volunteers from STEM industries. These volunteers will act as role models from the world of work by sharing their own real-life experiences as they work through the Futurewize modules. The modules map the four strands of the Junior Cycle science curriculum: Earth and Space, Chemical World, Physical World and Biological World. By the end of the 2016/17 school year, more than 2,000 secondary-school students will have completed Futurewize with 80 trained business volunteers from Fidelity Investments and other volunteer companies.

Kieran McEnery from Fidelity Investments, who taught Futurewize to the 1st year class in Cabinteely Community School over the course of five weeks, said: “I had a wonderful experience facilitating the Futurewize programme in Cabinteely Community School. After my initial nerves dissipated I enjoyed opening the students’ eyes to the world of STEM and the opportunities that could lie ahead of them if they pursue an interest in this area.”

Kieran was delighted to have Dr Ní Shúilleabháin with him for his final session: “To be joined in class by Dr Ní Shúilleabháin was an impactful way to finish the programme. I am proud that Fidelity Investments are supporting such a worthwhile initiative.”

IMG 2277Aoibhinn Ní Shúilleabháin with Josh O'Dowd from Cabinteely Community SchoolMichelle Lyne, science teacher in Cabinteely Community School, said: “My 1st year students thoroughly enjoyed the Futurewize programme as it really brought the STEM subjects to life in a fun accessible way. Our Fidelity Investments volunteer Kieran McEnery was a great role model from industry, who underlined the range of career opportunities flowing from STEM subjects, and it was inspiring to hear from Dr Ní Shúilleabháin and learn about her passion for STEM.

Dr Ruth Freeman, Director of Strategy and Communications for Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is proud to support Junior Achievement Ireland in delivering the Futurewize programme. In partnering with our Smart Futures STEM careers programme, Futurewize will help to inspire the next generation of scientists and technologists in Ireland. The Programme connects young people with role models that can share valuable career insights, ultimately empowering them to make more informed decisions about their future study and career paths.”

On behalf of JAI, Chief Executive Helen Raftery, said: “JAI has been supported by industry and school leaders in delivering entrepreneurship education opportunities to young people for 20 years. Futurewize is a great addition to the menu of options we offer our partner schools and businesses as the programme inspires students to reach their full potential and consider the variety of careers available to them in STEM.”

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JA PM Skills for Life 113

100 Transition Year (TY) students from around the country enjoyed showcasing their newly-acquired project management skills at the PM Skills for Life Innovation Camp in the iconic Thomond Park Stadium, Limerick on 3rd May.

During the 2016/17 school year 500 transition year students from 15 schools across Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford have been learning about Project Management. PM Skills for Life is a 4-module programme facilitated by industry volunteers to bring TY students through the core principles of project management. It is a collaborative initiative between the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and JAI.

IMG 1858The Innovation Camp in Thomond Park brought together young project managers from all over the country who have excelled during the completion of the programme with expert PM volunteers from Dell, Northern Trust, Stryker and Shannon Engine Support to participate in a masterclass and complete a challenge. To get the day off to the best possible start, the students, their mentors and teachers in attendance heard from rugby legend David Wallace. Reflecting on his experiences with Munster, Ireland and the Lions, David shared his views on the factors that contribute to building an environment in which success can be achieved.

IMG 1938David, who was recently appointed as Business Development Manager for Bank of Ireland in the Munster region, remarked: “The projects undertaken as part of the PM Skills for Life programme embody qualities like ambition, excellence, integrity and community. These are the values which brought us such success during my time with Munster Rugby and it’s great to see them reflected in the choices, which the students made in applying themselves to their projects.”

Ethna Lyons, teacher in Laurel Hill Secondary School FCJ whose class had completed the PM Skills for Life programme, commented that “Having volunteers like Paul McMahon & Andy Cunningham from Dell come into the school to complete the PM Skills for Life programme was absolutely brilliant. The programme, including today’s Innovation Camp will, I believe, underlines for the students that they can successfully manage a project and overcome any challenge that they might encounter.

IMG 1873Those ideas on developing successful teams were put immediately to use in the course of the innovation camp where students worked in small groups with their peers from all over to the country to complete a challenge as part of their advanced project management workshop.

PMIEF Grants Manager Michelle Armstrong who attended the event said: “In the 21st century, the demand for skilled project managers is at an all-time high as organisations focus on higher productivity and greater customer satisfaction with minimum resources. The PMI Educational Foundation is delighted to have joined with Junior Achievement Ireland to educate students on the importance of project management as a skill set they will need for college, career, and lifelong success.”

Students were delighted to be given the chance to visit the Thomond Park Museum which completed an exciting day for them as well as their teachers and mentors.

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Students Manage their own Success with PM Skills for Life

Innovation Camp to Celebrate Young Project Managers

SE Kate Shields from Sanofi with students from De La SAlle CollegeVolunteer Kate Shields from Sanofi with students from De La Salle College, Waterford on their completion of the PM Skills for Life programme

100 transition year students from around the country have been nominated to take part in the PM Skills for Life Innovation Camp in Thomond Park Stadium on 3 May.

The Innovation Camp will celebrate young project managers who have excelled during the completion of the PM Skills for Life programme, a collaborative initiative between the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI).

The PM Skills for Life programme enables students to understand, plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate a project of their own.  500 Transition Year students from 15 schools across Carlow, Clare, Cork, Dublin, Galway, Limerick and Waterford completed the programme this year.

The projects undertaken by the students ranged from social enterprises such as fundraisers for local charities to school integration events for younger students, and from mental health awareness campaigns to fundraising events to support school renovation appeals.  


Thank you to all the volunteers, from a host of supporting organisations, who assisted the students in developing the skills involved in working as an effective team to plan and run a successful project.  This form of real-to-life experience is absolutely invaluable in preparing students, like those pictured here from Assumption Secondary, Clondalkin, during their fundraising event, for fulfilling post-school careers. 

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PMIEF and JAI joined forces to present the opportunity for project management professionals to work with second level students to help them understand the benefits of acquiring and practising project management skills.

Students from the 15 schools will travel to Thomond Park Stadium on 3 May to complete an Innovation Camp, which will involve a masterclass from a guest speaker as part of an advanced project management workshop. They will also share their key learnings as project managers with their peers. A tour of the iconic stadium will complete an exciting day for the young project managers and their teachers and mentors.

Helen Raftery, CEO of Junior Achievement Ireland, commented that “We are grateful to PMIEF for the resources to run this initiative, and appreciate all of the time and expertise of our expert project management volunteers to promote student learning. Project management is both a practical 21st century life skill as well as critical business skill. Through experiential learning and a hands-on introduction to project management these students are better prepared for future success and have developed skills that will be beneficial to them irrespective of the career path they choose.”

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Galway Team Win Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár Comhlachta

Student Entrepreneurs Claim National Crown

JAI udaras entrepreneur awardsColáiste Chroí Mhuire pupils Liadh Robertson, Rebecca Ni Alluráin, Aoife Nic Chormaic, Blanca Ní Dhonnabhain and Maire Ní Fhrighil celebrate winning the Údarás na Gaeltachta Clár Comhlachta 

Cothú Cinnte, a company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal, Co. Galway was acclaimed as the winner of the Údarás na Gaeltachta - Clár Comhlachta 2017 at the national final held at the Connamara Coast Hotel on the 15th March.

With more than 500 Transition Year students taking part in Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford, eight teams were ultimately selected to proceed to the national final. The standards set by these regional winners means the winner of the Clár Comhlachta can be regarded as particularly astute entrepreneurs.

Cothú Cinnte is comprised of Liadh Robertson, Rebecca Ní Alluráin, Aoife Nic Chormaic, Blanca Ní Dhonnabhain and Maire Ní Fhrighil. The company produces hand-painted, glazed dinner plates, depicting areas for starch, vegetables and protein. The areas are labelled as gaeilge and can be personalised when ordered! Their aim is to promote healthy eating and encourage people to include more vegetables in their diet. Cothú Cinnte was mentored by local business volunteer Barry Comerford from Cambus Medical.

98JAI udaras entrepreneur awardsFinalists Nuair a Bhíos Óg from Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean at their trade standAlongside the winning company from Coláiste Chroí Mhuire, An Spidéal teams from Scoil Mhuire, Béal Átha'n Ghaorthaidh, Cork; Pobalscoil Chorca Dhuibhne, An Daingean, Kerry; Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna, Galway; Scoil Mhuire, Béal A' Mhuirthead, Mayo; Coláiste Pobail, Acla, Mayo; Pobalscoil Ghaoth Dobhair, Leitir Ceanainn, Donegal; Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór, Donegal, represented their families, their business mentors and their schools with distinction at the national finals.

Clár Comhlachta is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills. Local business volunteers, each of whom is JAI UDARAS entrepreneur07Finalists Oileán na Síoga from Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, Árainn Mhór during their National Final presentationrecruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers.

The Clár Comhlachta national final followed the regional finals, which this year took place in Kerry, Mayo, Galway and Donegal. Over the course of the national final, the emerging entrepreneurs exhibited at trade stands, displayed their business acumen during the judges’ interview and held their nerve to present their business ideas on stage in front of a public audience.

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Skills for Life: Citi Foundation & JAI Challenging Students to Acquire Entrepreneurial Skills

Photo 4Pictured at the Enterprise in Action launch are Ryan Conroy, Student, St. Paul’s CBS; Sinead Henshaw, M.D. Operations Business & Chair of Community Affairs Group, Citi; Paschal Donohoe, T.D., Minister for Public Expenditure and Reform; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Abieyuma Obasuyi, Student, Loreto College Crumlin; Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Head, Loreto College Crumlin

JAI is excited to announce the launch of a new entrepreneurial programme for senior cycle students called Enterprise in Action. Enterprise in Action, sponsored by Citi Foundation, is designed to promote the relevance of entrepreneurial thinking and provides a structured 5-week programme to allow students to practice innovative thinking and challenges them to understand ethical decision-making.

In 2016/17 80 professionals from a range of supporting organisations including Citi are volunteering to work with more than 2,000 15-17 year olds in their own classrooms to complete Enterprise in Action. Over the course of five weeks, Enterprise in Action volunteers will serve to highlight the role of business in Ireland and introduce young people to entrepreneurship in a practical way that equips them with life skills which can be carried into adulthood.

EIACiti volunteers Caitriona Penston, Fran Burke & Edna Lyatuu HoganParticipating students will also have the opportunity to apply to participate in Innovation Camps where students from a range of schools will come together to address a specific challenge over the course of one day. Working in groups students from different schools will combine creative thinking, teamwork and effective communication skills to come up with innovative solutions to a set problem.

Speaking at the launch of the Enterprise in Action programme, Minister Paschal Donohoe, T.D. stated that, “Initiatives such as Enterprise in Action are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills, which will ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. Entrepreneurship is a key element in the health and wellbeing of any thriving economy. We must ensure that we support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that face any challenge, and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Citi for such a wonderful initiative.”

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