Students from three Dublin schools have graduated from the Junior Achievement Ireland Career Ready programme, kindly hosted by Citi, North Wall Quay, Dublin 1. To mark the completion of their two year programme the students were joined by the business volunteers who had worked as their mentors, representatives of supporting organisations and special guests former Dublin GAA star and life coach Jason Sherlock and JAI Patron Leslie Buckley.
Career 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 the JAI Career Ready 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 2015-2017 cohort comprises twenty nine students from St. Paul’s CBS, North Brunswick St; Loreto College, Crumlin and Our Lady of Mercy, Beaumont.
Special guest Jason Sherlock 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: “The guidance and encouragement of mentors and role models really can make a profound difference in a young person’s life; I know this from my own personal experience. To the participating students I say take the skills and confidence you have gained from Career Ready and build on them, allow the programme to be the catalyst for you to fulfil your potential. With the right attitude you can do anything you set your mind to.”
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.
The Career Ready 2015-17 mentors, as well as masterclasses and school to work visits, were provided by A & L Goodbody, Accenture, Amundi, BNY Mellon, Citi, Core Media, Dell, Deloitte, Diageo, EisnerAmper Ireland, Gaiety School of Acting, LinkedIn, JLL, Lloyds Bank, Manpower, Pfizer, SQS, Standard Life, and TV3.
Mary Kelleher, Transition Year Coordinator in Loreto College Crumlin, said that: “Volunteer mentors from ‘the real world’ really do have a significant impact in helping students see the relevance of their studies and their post-school choices. Volunteers share their career journey and give students an insight into their working life which is vital not only in opening the students’ eyes to the possibilities that are out there but also underlines the need to be driven and focused.”
On behalf of Junior Achievement Ireland, CEO Helen Raftery said: “Research shows us 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 and take full advantage of the opportunity that education offers. Thank you to Citi for hosting this celebration and to all our corporate partners for their support of the Career Ready initiative.”