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LEAP - Celebrating a Public and Private Sector Collaboration

Leap Professional 1Denise Power, JAI; Jacqui Gaule, Waterford LEO; Pat O’Grady, Bluefin Technologies; Lisa McGowan Bluefin Technologies; John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation; Danielle Kennedy, Lloyds; Gemma Kennedy, Q1 Scientific; Helen Raftery, JAI; Helen Halpin, JAI; Eilis Fox, JAI

We were delighted to have the opportunity to recognise the successful collaboration of Waterford Local Enterprise Office (LEO), local businesses and JAI on the LEAP programme which ran during the 2016/2017 school year and also to launch our 2017/2018 LEAP initiative.

LEAP - standing for Local Enterprise Achievement Programme - aims to encourage early-stage entrepreneurship in primary school students, helping them acquire and practice entrepreneurial skills, including team working, presentation skills, creative thinking and business planning. 200 primary students from eight schools in Waterford participated in LEAP 2017 because of the joint efforts of the team at Waterford LEO and local business people who volunteered to deliver workshops and serve as mentors.

Leap Professional 2John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation speaking to Gemma Kennedy of Q1 ScientificTo report on the results achieved last year and to launch the 2017/18 initiative, John Halligan, T.D., Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation was welcomed by Richie Power, CEO of Waterford LEO, into their offices. Minister Halligan acknowledged the work done as a result of this public and private sector collaboration and was delighted to present certificates of appreciation to those who facilitated enterprise education workshops in local schools. The 2017 in-school volunteers were: Peter Grogan, Emagine; Padraig O’Scanaill, Fundrecs; Gemma Kennedy, Q1 Scientific; Danielle Kennedy, Lloyds; Mary O’Brien, Bausch & Lomb and Elaine Fennelly, Lisa McGowan & Pat O’Grady, Bluefin Technologies.

Each volunteer helped the students to complete ‘My First Business’ over a series of visits to the participating schools: Portlaw N.S., Killea B.N.S., Fenor N.S., Dunhill N.S., Scoil Lorcain B.N.S., St. Ursula’s Primary School, St. John of God N.S. and St. Declan’s B.N.S. To showcase all of their hard work, JAI staged a LEAP event in conjunction with the School of Business in Waterford Institute of Technology. Over the course of the 7th and 8th June all of the young business people enjoyed the chance to present their ideas to panels of additional local business people entitled FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students).

Minister John Halligan T.D. said: “I am happy to acknowledge the wonderful work done by Junior Achievement Ireland and Waterford Local Enterprise Office through the LEAP initiative. It is important that we excite young people as to the value of gaining entrepreneurial skills, like team working. I’m also delighted to express my appreciation to the local business people in taking the time to serve as role models for these students and hopefully in complementing the work of our teachers, helping the next generation to sow the seeds of their future success. Congratulations to all involved.”

LEAP 1Students, teachers and mentors celebrate after the LEAP event in WITRichie Walsh, CEO of Waterford Leo, said that “small businesses are the backbone of the economy and developing entrepreneurship skills, which are also good life skills, at this early age enables us to nurture the next generation of doers and innovators. The participants learn how to be self-motivated, work in teams and be responsible for their own decisions. These are all skills that they will need later in life.”

Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI, concluded by saying: “We are delighted to partner with Waterford LEO on the LEAP Project and the results we have shared today highlight its positive impact on local students. For these students to have the opportunity to work with local business people to generate their own ideas and to get to present those ideas in a third level setting is a fabulous learning experience, which is highly valued by all of the teachers involved too. Thank you to Waterford LEO, our local business volunteers and WIT for inspiring and motivating local students.”

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Waterford Local Enterprise Office LEAP into Action in Local Schools

LEAP 1

200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have taken part in the Local Enterprise Achievement Programme (LEAP), sponsored by Waterford Local Enterprise Office.

At the start of the programme each class was visited by a local business person who delivered the Junior Achievement 'Our First Business' programme, empowering students to come up with their very first business idea. All the students' hard work and preparation came to fruition at the LEAP Event which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 7th and 8th June.

LEAP 2Minister John Halligan TD visiting students at their stand to hear their business ideasMinister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, who opened the LEAP Event on the 8th of June said: “Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area, which will help to ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. We must support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that they can face any challenge and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Waterford Local Enterprise Office for such a wonderful initiative.

Each day four local schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to local business people known as FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students) who questioned the students on their ideas leap 3In the middle of the action are John Halligan, Minister of State for Training and Skills; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Waterford LEO; Tom O’ Toole, Head of the School of Business, WITand offered each group a fictional investment in recognition of the potential of their business idea.

Speaking at the event Jacqui Gaule from Waterford LEO said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. The creativity and innovation showed by the students was inspiring.  To reach primary school students and sow the seed of self-employment at this young age offers us the opportunity of a bright future for entrepreneurship in Waterford. We are delighted that Junior Achievement is our partner for this project.

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Wexford Educate Together Become Town Planners in the Council Chamber!

Sharon 1Volunteers Sharon Ryan and Jess Siggins with students from Wexford Educate Together during their recent Our City Workshop3rd and 4th class from Wexford Educate Together N.S. were recently invited to the council chambers to take part in a Junior Achievement workshop called Our City. The students were joined on the morning by Sharon Ryan and Jess Siggins, two Wexford County Council volunteers who explained to them how our towns and cities are zoned into different areas for planning e.g. residential and Industrial.

Over the course of the morning, the students reviewed pictures, including one of Wexford pier, and decided which zone each picture should be placed. They then built their very own towns using pop up buildings and met with two Wexford County Council planners to discuss if the locations of their buildings were in line with Wexford town planning guidelines.

Finally, having heard from the two town planners that Wexfords new park was currently in the design stage, the students came up with their ideas and advertisements for what they would like the park to look like. Ideas included a family park, tree house park and park of fun and laughter. Thank you to Wexford County Council for a fun and informative morning!

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MSD Ballydine Promotes STEM Skills to Local Students

ballydine croppedMSD Volunteers with students from Presentation Primary School, Clonmel

On 24th May four staff from MSD (Ireland) Ballydine volunteered to deliver a STEM workshop with 5th class students from Presentation Primary School in Clonmel. Over the course of one morning they promoted the importance of STEM skills through a series of three workshops.

Students also learned about the different roles in MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and how STEM skills were a regular part of their everyday working lives. Volunteers Nuala Strappe, Linda Kehoe and Áine O’Driscoll shared their varied career paths and encouraged the students to consider the importance of these subjects in their primary and secondary school education.

Teacher Roisin Prendergast said “The 5th class girls are at a crucial level in deciding what they would like to do subject wise in secondary school so a programme like this really encourages STEM subjects. I also felt that it was very useful for the girls to meet people in different working areas of MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and to have those role models to learn from. Thank you to the ladies for giving up their time for such an important learning experience.”

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Vhi Volunteers Shine in Local Schools in Kilkenny

Our CIty Shirley traitShirley Trait with 3rd class students from St. Patrick’s De La Salle N.S., Kilkenny

Across the 2016/2017 school year, 12 volunteers from Vhi volunteered to teach JA programmes in 5 local schools reaching 303 students in Kilkenny.

The Junior Achievement programmes were taught to a wide range of students – from Senior Infants in primary school to fourth year students at second level and covered a range of topics including science, maths, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, communication and practical life skills.  Through hands-on, interactive activities, the students learned about the world of work and how their town and community operate.

Therese Bourke, Vhi , commented, “Vhi was delighted to continue our strong support of Junior Achievement Ireland to help deliver this very worthwhile activity in local Kilkenny schools.  Year on year our staff volunteer to participate and we genuinely feel that they benefit almost as much as pupils.  We are very proud to support our local schools and look forward to partnering with Junior Achievement Ireland to continue these very beneficial activities.”

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