"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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Mid West

3 Year Bridge to Employment for Limerick Students

 24 09 19 9762

Michael Sheahan, Mayor of the City and County of Limerick; Ian Walker, J&J Senior Director Global Community Impact and John Lynch, Plant Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision with students from Ardscoil Mhuire and Thomond Community College 

Johnson & Johnson Vision and JAI, in collaboration with Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park, recently launched a Bridge to Employment (BTE) programme at the Limerick Strand Hotel. The programme will serve 50 transition year students through to the completion of their Leaving Certificate.

24 09 19 9837The initiative, funded by Johnson & Johnson, is part of the company’s global BTE initiative which aims to encourage young people to pursue higher education and challenging careers in the healthcare industry. A collaborative effort between schools, employers, parents and community groups helps to provide students with the confidence needed to realise their aspirations. The programme aims to engage students in their last three years of secondary school who demonstrate academic potential, but may face barriers to career progression.

Over the three years of this project, students will be given the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as work experience placements at Johnson & Johnson Vision, visiting third level campuses, attending workshops, receiving valuable career advice from J&J mentors and also participating in JAI’s ‘Career Success’ programme. This unique opportunity will provide the selected students with a comprehensive level of support and guidance as they progress through senior cycle.   

24 09 19 9792Brid Herbert, Principal, Ardscoil Mhuire said that her school was delighted to be selected to be involved in the BTE project: "This three year mentoring programme will support our students in achieving academic success and in their preparation for higher education, training, and employment. BTE will present 25 of our students with unique and invaluable real world experiences, allow them to explore potential careers, prepare for college/work and discover how learning is relevant to their future. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Johnson & Johnson Vision and Junior Achievement Ireland for collaborating on this programme."

24 09 19 9670John Lynch, Plant Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision, said: "Bridge to Employment is a global Johnson & Johnson programme which has been running successfully for more than 20 years. Given our commitment to supporting our local community here in Limerick, I'm delighted that we are working with Junior Achievement Ireland in supporting senior cycle students from Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park to pursue challenging science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) related careers.

On behalf of JAI Mid-West Area Manager Teresa Leahy underlined the impact the programme will have on participating students: “Research shows that working with ‘real-world’ volunteers helps young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday lives, which is a vital factor in persuading them to stay in school, take full advantage of their education and maximise their potential. The Bridge to Employment programme will help students develop over the three years into enterprising individuals who have the skills, knowledge and attitudes needed to achieve the goals they set for themselves. Thank you to Johnson & Johnson Vision for supporting this impactful initiative.”

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Regeneron Volunteers Go Back to School in Limerick

 Regeneron volunteers 1

After 23 years working with schools and business partners throughout Ireland more and more JAI volunteers are getting the opportunity to return to their old schools to deliver programmes. Many are putting the skills they learned in the workforce into practice to motivate young people to progress in the world of work.

Volunteer Eamonn Gleeson was delighted to visit his old primary school St. Joseph’s National School in Cloughjordan to deliver Our City to 2nd and 3rd class students.

Limerick Educate Together School in North Circular road participated in the Project Management Skills for Life programme with Aiveen Campbell, who attended the school when it was known as Salesians Secondary Fernbank. Liz Shinners, a teacher in Limerick Educate Together School , commented: “We really enjoyed the workshop and learned so much about Project Management, the students are looking forward to using their new skills in future projects in our school.”

1st year students from Colaiste Mhichil, CBS Sexton Street were interested to hear from past pupil, David Page. David delivered the Futurewize programme to a 1st year group.  David has a specific interest in science and STEM programmes which help students to learn the importance of STEM subjects and the options for working in STEM industries after school.

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Zimmer Biomet bringing Science to Life

Zimmer St Pats STWWe were delighted to continue our very successful partnership with Zimmer Biomet in the 2018/2019 school year.  So far in this school year, there have been 9 programme volunteers from Zimmer Biomet in Shannon who have taught students in Limerick and Clare. These volunteers reached 263 students in six local primary schools and 2 second level schools.

Zimmer Biomet recently also hosted a visit by two first year science classes from St. Patrick’s Comprehensive, Shannon.  The Futurewize programme sponsored by SFI was a huge success with all of the students.  The volunteers on the day were only too happy to share their experiences of working in a STEM Pharmaceutical Company.

Cormac Mc Mahon, from Zimmer Biomet said: “We are very pleased to partner with Junior Achievement Ireland to deliver this worthwhile programme. We have been involved since 2016 and our staff get a lot from it. As a long established manufacturing facility in Shannon, and recently opened manufacturing facility in Oranmore in Galway, we are very keen to create strong links with our local community through the schools here in Clare, Limerick and Galway.”

Commenting on her experience, Ms Sabrina Curran, a teacher from the St. Patrick’s Comprehensive said: “I found this Junior Achievement programme fantastic, all of the presentations on the day were absolutely great, the students loved learning about science and finding out all about the replacement knees produced here on site.  The tour and the career talks on the day were invaluable. I am really looking forward to having Junior Achievement in my class again in the future.”

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DellEMC Inspiring Young Minds in Limerick

Limerick 2DellEMC volunteer Dave Griffin catches up with his old JA student Jason Hannon

Dave Griffin, Business Development Director for DellEMC in Limerick, recently caught up with Jason Hannon,  a engineering student from the University of Limerick.

Dave visited Thomond Community College to deliver the ‘Success Skills’ programme back in 2016. Jason was  a transition year students when Dave frequented the school as a JA business volunteer from DellEMC. Jason was hugely inspired by Dave, and from that moment on was determined and motivated to attend college and pursue a career in STEM.

Dave shared his own story and journey from school to his current role in DellEMC, he also highlighted the many career opportunities available to students in both DellEMC and other STEM companies in the Midwest Region. He impressed upon the students that everybody could achieve their goals if they had self-belief, determination and worked hard.

Three years on, Jason is now a 2nd year student of Mechanical Engineering in University of Limerick and is currently on a placement with Regeneron.

Congratulations to Jason on his success to date and a huge thank you to Dave Griffin and DellEMC for the inspirational work they do with local students.

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STEM Role Models from Industry Inspire Next Generation of Limerick Scientists

Colaiste Mhichil Mark AshworthStudents from Coláiste Mhichíl with their Futurewize Certificates of Achievement

Students from Ardscoil Mhuire and Coláiste Mhichil recently completed the STEM based Futurewize programme supported by Science Foundation Ireland (SFI). More than 250 students in the Limerick Region will participate in Futurewize the 2018/19 school year.

Declan Crotty, Teacher in Colaiste Mhichil, said: “The students were very engaged with the different sessions every week. The students enjoyed working with volunteer Mark and participated well with all of the activities. It was a very enjoyable experience.”

Originally launched in 2016, the classroom-based Futurewize programme is aimed at inspiring young Junior Cycle students to explore a new world of career possibilities that are opened up through the study of STEM-related subjects (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths). An evaluation of the first phase of the Futurewize programme showed that 77 percent of student participants are now interested in studying STEM-related subjects after school, while 99 percent of participating teachers would recommend it to colleagues. On foot of these encouraging results additional funding was secured from the Science Foundation Ireland Discover Programme.

Designed by JAI and developed for delivery in classrooms by business volunteers, this year 3,500 students across 150 classes will complete the Futurewize programme facilitated by 150 trained volunteers from STEM-related roles.  The programme will continue to involve no fewer than 60 percent female participation levels.

By the end of 2019, it is estimated that nearly 24,000 students nationwide will have completed the Futurewize programme in combination with the Smart Futures module, which is also promoted as a function of the collaboration between SFI and JAI. Futurewize is aligned with the strands of the Junior Cycle science curriculum, and the physical, biological, and chemical worlds; and Earth and Space complement government policy including the aims of the Action Plan for Education 2016-2019 and the National Skills Strategy 2025.

Having trained role models from industry working with 13-14 year olds in their own classrooms once a week for five weeks, Futurewize aims to show Junior Cycle students the importance and relevance of STEM related subjects. These role models from industry share their own real-life experiences as they work through the Futurewize modules.      

Research on the ‘role model effect’ has indicated the strong influence that a positive role model, particularly for girls, can play in changing perceptions and dispelling gender-stereotypes in STEM careers.

Commenting on its support for the Futurewize programme up to the end of 2019, Margie McCarthy, Interim Director of Innovation and Education at Science Foundation Ireland, said: “Science Foundation Ireland is delighted to support Junior Achievement Ireland in running Futurewize, a fantastic initiative funded by the SFI Discover Programme. Joining forces with Smart Futures, Futurewize demonstrates the diverse STEM career opportunities available to students in Ireland by creating a space in which they can interact with superb role models. Encouraging these meaningful interactions empowers and inspires young people to start thinking about their future study and career paths, allowing them to learn of real life workplace experiences and to kick-start their journeys towards becoming the innovators of the future.”

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