"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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South East

Wexford County Council open students' eyes to career choices


86 Transition Year Students from Presentation Secondary School participated in the ‘Wexford County Council Careers Expo’ thanks to the team of seven staff members from Wexford County Council.  The inspiring Careers Expo was an opportunity for the students to learn about working life in Wexford County Council and the roles in the different departments.

wEXFORD 2The morning’s event kicked off with three talks from staff within the Council - David Minogue, Communications Officer; Fionnuala Callery,  Senior Executive Engineer and Sonia Hunt, Executive Planner. They spoke about the role of Wexford County Council within the community and their own educational and career paths. The students then partook in three educational activities that explored the role of education and work, entrepreneurship and ethical decision making in business.

David Minogue from Wexford County Council said “it was a pleasure working with students from Presentation Secondary School; the workshop was designed to challenge and inspire students as they plan ahead for their future careers as they explored entrepreneurship, roles within the council and were given an opportunity speak to staff from the council.  Their level of focus on their future was very impressive.”

On completion of the workshops the students were presented with a certification of achievement in recognition of the dedication they showed throughout the day. The volunteers on the day were David Minogue, Sue Kent, Denise Kehoe, Eimear Kennedy, Jamie Collins, Sonia Hunt and Fionnuala Callery. Thank you all!

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New Supporting Organisations Making an Impact in the South East

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JAI is delighted to welcome two new organisations who have joined our list of supporters in the South East for the 2019/20 school year.

Since they kicked off their JAI partnership activities, EBS in Waterford have focused on financial literacy and money management. Their financial advisor Diane Healy delivered the  Finance your Future programme (sponsored nationwide by MetLife Foundation) to a transition year class across 5 weeks in St. Augustine’s College in Dungarvan, Co. Waterford.

The programme targets those who are about to embark on their lives outside the school environment. Students are encouraged to apply new practical learning to their own lives and consider the variety of financial decisions they will face once they become financially independent, such as investing in savings schemes, setting up insurance policies, and options for pensions. During the programme students also identify their own skills, interests and values which can relate back to their career options and Diane also shared her own career path during the course of the programme.

SE 1JAI also welcomed on board Indos Financial (Ireland) Ltd. based in Enniscorthy, Co. Wexford. Staff member Áine Courtney, delivered the JAI programme ‘Our Community’ to 2nd class students in St. Senan’s Primary School in Enniscorthy.

The 5 week programme explores and targets the world within a community as it identifies a variety of jobs by developing an awareness of how people live, work and play together in a community. The students get to experience different production strategies that simulate production methods widely used in industry as well as learning about the economic role of the government, with a focus on taxes why money is important in the community so to enable it to grow.

The feedback from both Diane and Áine has been extremely positive and they have both enjoyed meeting the teachers and students in each of the schools they worked with.

Áine said “The variety of topics included in the programme not only kept myself interested but the students also. Combined with the variety offered by the programme, the chance to actually work with students was enjoyable as it enabled me to see their attitudea and understanding of a range of different scenarios in life”

We look forward to building on these great new partnerships with EBS and Indos Financial (Ireland) Ltd. and we thank them for focusing on the important objective of inspiring young minds.

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BNY Mellon mentors inspire girls in tech

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As part of BNY Mellon’s celebration of International Women’s Day 2019, BNY Mellon staff mentored female second level students on 'An Introduction to Data Analytics' as part of the Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) theme, ‘Balance for Better’.

38 volunteers worked with 113 students in Mount Carmel Secondary School,  Dublin 1;  Presentation Secondary School, Wexford and St. Patrick's College, Cork to stimulate interest in careers in technology by offering an introduction to the basic concepts of data analytics.

Students from Presentation Secondary School were the first to learn the basics of data analytics and the tools that are used. Using Spotify data, students were introduced to Tableau, a data analysis software, and learned basic functionalities. Students concluded the workshop by working on their presentation skills to explain to their fellow students and volunteers what different graphs illustrated to the viewer. 

BNY Mellon 4One group received a chart titled “Most Popular Songs”, from this they were able to present the different popular songs by region and also have interaction during the presentation from their peers by taking an informal poll demonstrating how the “Most popular songs” won’t actually be the same everywhere as all tastes differ. Their ability to read the data and present it in an interactive and accessible way exhibited their understanding and knowledge that was gained from their previous session with volunteers.

Volunteers, teachers, and JAI staff were really impressed with all presentations, as students exhibited the ability to present data in an interactive and accessible way. This clearly highlighted the understanding and knowledge gained from their BNY Mellon volunteers. The students also commented on their warm welcome to BNY Mellon  and the valuable skills they learned during their time with the volunteers.

BNY Mellon 2It was also a very successful experience for volunteers, as they were able connect with young people in their local community and help them develop the skills they need to succeed.

As BNY Mellon Wexford volunteer Aisling Hannon, said “I really enjoyed this event, I hadn’t done anything like this before and it was a good experience to get out of my comfort zone. It was nice to tell young people about my career path, how I progressed from school to my current position and to receive good feedback from them. It was also quite nostalgic – going back to a school and seeing how they spend their days was a nice reminder of my own school days. Hopefully this experience broadened their horizons, helping them to realise that office work is not boring as well as develop new skills for their futures.”

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One Giant LEAP into Enterprise for Waterford Schools

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Eight national schools from Waterford City and County recently took part in the LEAP programme, in conjunction with Local Enterprise Office Waterford.

The programme saw 4th and 5th class students from Gael Scoil Philib Barún, Butlerstown NS, ChristChurch NS, Waterpark NS, St. Stephen’s De La Salle, St. Paul’s NS, Faithlegg NS and Abbeyside NS embarking on an early stage entrepreneurship journey that lasted several months and culminated in them pitching their business ideas at WIT’s School of Business.

001 JAA 230519The LEAP programme was developed by JAI and Local Enterprise Office Waterford in 2014 and has harnessed strong partnerships between leading organisations and schools.  Designed to encourage ‘early-stage entrepreneurship’ with national school students, this year’s programme saw the students mentored by local business volunteers.

Volunteers Laura Caulfield (Manor St. John), Peter Barry (Waterford Credit Union), Danielle Kennedy (Lloyds Hair), Claire Coppinger (Bluefin), Christine Rossiter (Dawn Meats), Helen Payne (ORAFOL), Laura McGibney (Coaching4U) and Regina Mangan (Liberty Blue) delivered a series of activity-based enterprise education workshops in the eight schools to help the students develop their business ideas.

Jacqui Gaule of LEO Waterford said “This is our fourth year supporting the LEAP initiative and the levels of enthusiasm, dedication and entrepreneurship displayed by the students is so refreshing. For LEO Waterford, an agency tasked with encouraging, nurturing and supporting entrepreneurship, it is great to see the seeds of enterprise been sown at such an early age and as part of primary schools’ curricular activities.”

002 JAA 230519We are delighted to partner with Junior Achievement Ireland on this wonderful project, as it continues to foster the spirit of enterprise to Waterford’s young students.”

The two-day event was opened by Minister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation and the students pitched their business ideas to local business people, who were FROGS for a day (For Recognition of Greatness in Students).

Each student was awarded a Certificate of Achievement to recognise their participation and one team in each school was given a special plaque to mark their outstanding contribution to LEAP.

Denise Power, JAI Area Manager, South East said: “We are delighted to partner with LEO Waterford and local businesses on the LEAP project. It is a fantastic journey for students to learn the basics of entrepreneurship and develop their own business ideas with the support of entrepreneurs from the local community.”

“These mentors have shared their own real life experiences with the students and inspired and motivated them to become future entrepreneurs in the making. The students’ visit to WIT was a wonderful opportunity for them to pitch their ideas to business professionals for the first time outside the classroom and see how products could enter the market and impact their local community.”

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Paying it Forward - JA Student becomes JA Volunteer

Christine PAtrick

After 22 years working with schools and business partners throughout Ireland more and more JA student alumni are entering the workforce. Many are putting the skills they learned through their JA programmes into practice while others have been inspired to follow a particular career path due to their JA business volunteer.

We are always delighted when we hear stories about our business volunteers meeting students with whom they delivered past JA programmes. When regular volunteer Christine O’Donoghue from Waterford Credit Union contacted us to say that she met a past student of hers - Patrick Bolger - we were happy to catch up with her.

Patrick was a student in St. Mary’s National School, Ballygunner, Waterford in 2004 when Sanofi Christine delivered the Our City 3rd class (8-9 years old) programme to his class. This community and enterprise-focused programme introduces students to the many elements that comprise the development of an urban area. The Our City programme has been modified over the years and is currently support by Core. Over the course of their five-module programme, students enjoy starting their own business, developing their own advertising campaigns and practising being successful entrepreneurs.

Patrick has great memories of the programme and even recalls that Christine always visited on a Tuesday – that was his JA Day! He also remembers that she kindly brought in donuts for everyone on the last day. Christine became to Patrick a fantastic role model for the world of work and the importance of education.

As a result of his positive experience as a JA student, Patrick – now an Engineer in Sanofi – was inspired to volunteer to teach a JA programme in his local area. Patrick chose to deliver the PMIEF supported Project Management Skills for Life programme with transition year students in De La Salle Waterford. He sees this as a great opportunity as a business volunteer to share what he has learned in his career path to date and pass on valuable skills that will be beneficial to students in their future academic lives and careers.

Christine has continued to deliver JA programmes and in recent years has focused on second level students. She has a specific interest in financial literacy programmes which help students to learn the importance of money management and how to make wise financial choices in their future.

We are delighted to have the continued support of both Waterford Credit Union and Sanofi and wish to thank Christine and Patrick for being such such great role models for the world of work.

Hopefully some of Patrick’s students will continue to pass it on by volunteering to teach their own JA programmes in the future.

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