"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

Vhi Volunteers Inspire Young Minds

catherine Byrne St. Johns Junior NCatherine Byrne with students from St. John’s Junior School, KilkennyWe were delighted to continue our very successful partnership with Vhi Kilkenny in the 2017/2018 school year.  In total there were 12 programme volunteers from Vhi Kilkenny who volunteered to teach a Junior Achievement programme. These volunteers reached 307 students in four local primary schools - Presentation Primary School, St. John’s Junior School, St. John’s Senior School and St. Patricks De La Salle BNS.

Therese Bourke, Head of Customer Services in Vhi, said: “We are very pleased to partner with Junior Achievement Ireland to deliver this worthwhile programme. We have been involved since 2002 and our staff get a lot from it. As one of the largest employers in the Kilkenny region, we are very keen to create strong links with our local community through the schools here in Kilkenny.”

Commenting on her experience, Ms Laura McCarthy, a teacher from the Presentation Primary School where Laura Hennessey from Vhi volunteered, said: “I found the Junior Achievement programme very good this year, Laura was absolutely great with the children and they loved learning about the city.  All the wonderful resources went down a treat too. I am really looking forward to having Junior Achievement in my class again in the future.”

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Enterprising Students Grow Positivity in Carlow

C E PicMSD volunteers Caoimhe and Eamonn with students from Presentation College Carlow and their teacher Marie CumiskeyTwo groups of students from Presentation College Carlow participated in the PM Skills for Life Project this year, a collaborative initiative between the Project Management Institute Educational Foundation (PMIEF) and JAI. With the support of project management professionals Caoimhe McMahon, Dave Hackett and Eamonn O’Mara from MSD Ireland Carlow the students were enabled to understand, plan, carry out, monitor and evaluate projects of their own.

Two project management groups were set up in school with very distinct project deliverables. Project Growing Positivity GPThe Growing Positivity project deliverablesassisted by volunteers Caoimhe and Eamonn, focused on supporting their schools communities health, happiness and sense of harmony by planting and growing positivity, a legacy to be maintained by future TY groups.

Project Enterprise week assisted by Dave, focused on increasing Junior Cycle students awareness of enterprise by scheduling a week of enterprise events which included the visit of a guest speaker, quiz and presentations from students.

Both projects were extremely successful and a number of students, who excelled during the completion of the PM Skills for Life programme, were invited to MSD to showcase their achievements to members of the Senior Leadership Team and the volunteers who had guided them at the initial stages of their project.

Yvonne O’ Toole, Site Communications Lead at MSD Ireland, Carlow said: “MSD are delighted to be associated with the Junior Achievement Program. This year we are celebrating the 10th Anniversary of MSD in Carlow and the partnership with Junior Achievement has been something that has been key for us from the outset. Many of our staff members have been engaged in delivering Junior Achievement programs to local schools over the last eight to ten years and this has presented benefits not just for the schools but also for our staff members who have a fantastic opportunity to engage with local schools.

MSD InnovationStudents and teachers from Presentation College Carlow meet the SLT from MSD Ireland, Carlow at the PM Skills Innovation Camp.

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Creating New Relationships during National Volunteering Week 2018

Kathleen and Lauren

On Thursday May 17th, 2018 we were delighted to work with volunteers from Clearstream Technologies (BD&Co) and students from Colaiste Bride for the very first time during National Volunteering week. 100 transition year students from Colaiste Bride Enniscorthy were visited by volunteers Lauren Keogh and Kathleen Nolan who gave a very informative Smart Futures talk to the students. The talk focused on careers in STEM, the medical devices that Clearstream Technologies make and both Laurens and Kathleens educational and career paths to date. Students were encouraged to participate in the discussion throughout resulting in some very insightful questions from the students and answers from the volunteers.

Denise Power, Area Manager, Junior Achievement South East Office said: “We were delighted to work with Clearstream Technologies and Colaiste Bride for the first time during National Volunteering Week 2018. I really want to thank everyone in Clearstream who have supported the development of our new partnership. We are very much looking forward to developing our relationship with Clearstream Technologies and local schools over the coming school year, schools we would be unable to reach without the support of Clearstream Technologies."

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Waterford LEO LEAP into Action with Local Schools

IMG 4375LEAP students and "FROGS" celebrate at the end of the second day of the event

200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have participated in the LEAP Project, a unique entrepreneurial initiative supported by Waterford Local Enterprise Office in partnership with JAI.

This is LEAP’s second year of encouraging ‘early-stage entrepreneurship’ to primary school students, helping them learn how to become entrepreneurs and to enabling them to design a business plan focusing on innovation and enterprise.

IMG 4305The eight schools which took part are Passage East N.S., Holy Cross N.S., Light of Christ N.S. Kilmacthomas Primary School, Presentation Primary School, St. Saviour’s N.S., Mount Sion Primary School and St. Mary’s N.S.

In advance of the event local business volunteers Damien Tiernan (RTE), Karen Moynan (Tramore Credit Union), Christine Rossiter (Dawn Meats), Lisa McGowan (Bluefin), Danielle Kennedy (Lloyds Hair Salons), Ian Stenson (BioMarin Pharma), Catherine O’Brien (Q1 Scientific) and Roisín Hartley (Hartley People) delivered a series of activity based enterprise education workshops with the students in each school. This preparation carried out by the students on their ‘First Business’ served the students well at the LEAP event  held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 29th and 30th May.  Each of the four schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to additional local business people named FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students).

007 JAA 290518Jacqui Gaule from Waterford Leo said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area. 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 to partner with Junior Achievement on this wonderful project.”

 Denise Power, Area Manager – South East for JAI, commented: “We are delighted to partner with Waterford LEO 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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Waterford City & County Council Staff share their Success Skills

Waterford cocoFull GroupA team of nine staff from Waterford City & County Council recently facilitated a JA interview preparation workshop with transition year students from De La Salle College, Waterford.

The workshop enabled students, through interactive activities, to understand the expectations of future employers both at 4interview and during employment.  By focusing on the development of students’ interpersonal, communication and teamwork skills, students developed a realisation of the attributes necessary to succeed in the workplace. Following on from which, each student presented themselves for a mock interview with a volunteer from Waterford City & County Council. After a successful morning the students were presented with a certification of Achievement in recognition of the dedication they showed throughout the day.

Maureen Fitzsimons from Waterford City & County Council commented  “It was a pleasure working with students from TY1; the workshop was designed to challenge and inspire students as they plan ahead for their future careers. Students were given an insight into the world of work and an opportunity to take part in an interview and receive feedback from staff volunteers. Their level of focus on their future was very impressive.”

Paul Ogle, a teacher at De La Salle College, Waterford said: “I felt the main benefits of this seminar and day came in the form of helping to open the students up to the differences and challenges of a new environment, where they perhaps don’t see the same need to conform to a set of unwritten or less tangible rules. It also showed how everything we do or say in various contexts can and are interpreted by the people who receive them and not always in the way we intended. This was extremely useful and a good eye opener to the real world of adult living in terms of jobs, skills, communication and things to keep in mind for student’s futures.”

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