"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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Email: info@jai.ie

South East

Tipperary student wins national gas safety competition

Jessica Phelan

Jessica Phelan from 6th class in Ballyneale National School, Carrick-On-Suir, Co. Tipperary won a nationwide poster competition to raise awareness of carbon monoxide and the dangers that it can pose in our homes.

At the beginning of the school year, Gas Networks Ireland, in partnership with JAI, called for entries to its carbon monoxide (CO) safety poster competition. Students who completed the Energize programme were eligible to enter.

The competition received hundreds of entries from all over Ireland, but it was Jessica’s poster, “CO: Invisible but not invincible”, that was deemed first among equals. Jessica was presented with an iPad by Gas Networks Ireland for use in her school classroom.

Gas Networks Ireland Corporate Responsibility Manager, Christina van der Kamp, said:

“As science, technology, engineering and maths expertise is at the centre of our business, we’re big supporters of STEM education. Congratulations to Jessica and all in Ballyneale National School for winning the Term 2 Energize poster competition.

“We’re delighted that 5,200 students from 151 schools nationwide engaged with Energize last year. Most importantly, more students are now aware of the dangers of carbon monoxide and will be able to spot the warning signs in the future.”

The Energize programme delivers science to over 5,000 primary school students around Ireland through practical and engaging classroom-based lessons to cultivate interest in the subject so students continue with it to second level education. Carbon monoxide awareness is an important element of the programme.

During the pandemic, Gas Networks Ireland worked with JAI to make some of the resources from the Energize programme available free to download at www.jai.ie for learning at home.

Teacher Sarah Whelan said:

“My class thoroughly enjoyed the Energize programme which brought science to life through fun and interactive sessions reflecting the curriculum. The programme was delivered by a volunteer from a STEM industry which allowed the students to see the career possibilities in those areas and will encourage students to continue with science in second-level education.”

“We are delighted Jessica has won this award, the students were fully engaged in the poster competition and grasped both the safety message and the creativity required. Thanks to Gas Networks Ireland for supporting such an important initiative.”

To have Energize delivered in your school, please contact JAI at info@jai.ie.

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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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