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South East

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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Sanofi and JAI Celebrate Success

Sanofi Recog Event

Sanofi and JAI recently hosted our annual recognition event to celebrate the fantastic contribution by Sanofi staff during the school year 17/18. 23 Sanofi volunteers inspired and motivated 683 students in 16 schools in the last school year. Sanofi have been a wonderful partner since the 2003/04 school year. In that time 7,985 students have benefited from JA programmes and events facilitated by 320 Sanofi volunteers.

Commenting on the 6th class Our Universe programme that was delivered, Ger Nic Gearilt from Gael Scoil na nDeise, said: “Deirdre Kelly from Sanofi showed the children the vast array of opportunities there are for them to use their talents, imagination and creativity when they grow up. I feel these types of programmes are vital in schools when we are trying to develop a workforce who are academically competent as well as creative, talented and innovative. The children thoroughly enjoyed and indeed benefit from this programme as Deirdre chose a hands-on, activity-based programme that lends to group work, active learning and self-expression. I understand that the Junior Achievement programme is funded and supported by local businesses thus I would also like to thank them for their generosity and innovation. I would really appreciate it if you could pass on this thanks to Sanofi in particular, who allowed Deirdre the time off to come and work with us. I would also indeed urge them to continue with this support and dedication into the future. Is mise le meas.”

 We look forward to another successful year with Sanofi and thank them for their ongoing support.

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Wexford County Council extend their partnership with JAI

DSCF9558Gerard Mulhall and Jess Siggins with students from Wexford Educate Together N.S. during their Our City Workshop in the Council ChamberThe 2017/2018 school year marked the first time Junior Achievement partnered with Wexford County Council volunteers from the Gorey Municipal District. The volunteers Amanda Byrne, Enda Flynn, Maura Higgins and Tony Quirke all taught Junior Achievement Programmes in Riverchapel National School to 1st and 3rd class students.

The Gorey Municipal District volunteers were part of a team of 20 Wexford County Council volunteers who participated in Junior Achievement programmes in County Wexford across the 2017/2018 school year. In addition to teaching a programme two volunteers Jess Siggins and Gerard Mulhall offered an additional learning opportunity DSCF9527Students from Wexford Educate Together N.S. learning about town planning in Wexford County Council Chamberto their students, inviting them to visit Wexford County Council Chamber. This enabled the students to see first-hand the work that happens there and gave them an opportunity to meet professionals from the finance and planning departments.

Having availed of the opportunity for her class to visit the County Council Chambers and meet town planners. Aileen Kelly, Teacher, Wexford Educate Together N.S. said:  “Wexford Educate Together N.S. has taken part in Junior Achievement for a number of years now and always find it an enjoyable and hugely worthwhile educational experience for the children. Our trip to Wexford County Council this year was particularly enjoyable and it was an invaluable lesson for the children to meet and discuss how towns are planned with the town planners themselves.”

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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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