Siobhain joined Junior Achievement in 2015 as a Programme Coordinator for Cork. She previously had a successful career in the insurance industry working in Cork and Dublin. With a degree in Marketing and a diploma in Digital Marketing and Insurance, Siobhain spent four years as a marketing executive with Allianz Insurance working on various marketing campaigns. Siobhain was inspired to join Junior Achievement after volunteering to teach a number of primary and secondary school programmes.
First year students at St Aloysius Secondary School joined their Carrigtwohill (Co. Cork) neighbours at GE Healthcare to undertake the Junior Achievement (JA) Innovation Challenge.
The JA Innovation Challenge involved GE Healthcare volunteers who presented the young students with a range of specific business challenges in the Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths (STEM) disciplines. The GE volunteers then worked with the students to generate challenge solutions and innovations. Working in groups the students learned to combine creative thinking and teamwork to develop and refine innovations and provide solutions to meet the challenge.
Food waste reduction, smart houses, innovative medicine labelling and smart packaging were among the innovations developed by the students who enjoyed their first practical experience of idea generation and entrepreneurship. The JA Challenge effectively steers young people towards business ideas of a more scientific and technological/ engineering nature and the students at St Aloysius Secondary School rose to the challenge. St Aloysius business teacher Catherine Begley said, “the innovation camp for first year business students is the ideal way to open up their imaginations to the creative process and to new ways of problem solving in the spirit of co-operative learning”. The students showed real enthusiasm for the challenge and confidently presented their projects to their peers, teachers and volunteers.
GE staff around Ireland will now go on to deliver a further 3 Junior Achievement Innovation Challenge Camps in Dublin and Limerick. In all GE will deliver 39 Junior Achievement Innovation camps in schools globally this year.
Ronan Daly Jermyn, one of Irelands' leading law firms, with offices in Cork, Galway and Dublin, initiated its partnership with JAI earlier this year. Within weeks, 14 Ronan Daly Jermyn solicitors volunteered to deliver JA programmes in primary and secondary schools in Cork City and County.
More than 200 students enjoyed JA programmes delivered by the business volunteers after they completed their training with the JAI team in Cork. The local students who got the chance to be involved in JA programmes because of the RDJ volunteers ranged from senior infants enjoying the "Ourselves" programme developing an understanding of helping, working, earning and saving, through to senior cycle second level students gaining valuable employability skills.
The new Ronan Daly Jermyn-JAI partnership is proving very popular with teachers and students with requests for next term already lodged. That enthusiasm is reciprocated. Jennifer Cashman, Partner at Ronan Daly Jermyn, said, "I delivered the first Our City session to 3rd class this morning, I absolutely loved it!! The kids were fab – so well behaved and engaged. I'm really looking forward to next week already and the kids said they are too...You have yourself a dedicated and enthusiastic volunteer here."
Thanks to each of our first volunteers from Ronan Daly Jermyn, Cork and welcome on board!
On March 19th, student entrepreneurs from counties Cork, Tipperary, Waterford and Wexford participated in the regional final of the Junior Achievement Company of the Year Competition 2015 hosted at Cork County Hall. The 10 teams qualified for the regional final from a group of over 420 students who completed the Junior Achievement Company programme in schools across the region. The team, which comes out on top at the national final will represent Ireland at the European final in Berlin in July.
Regional finalists from Bishopstown Community School, Cork; St. Mary's Secondary School, New Ross, Co. Wexford; De La Salle College, Waterford and CBS High School, Clonmel, Co. Tipperary rose to the challenge of having their business acumen tested by the panel of judges and represented their schools and families with great distinction. The students pitched their company to the panel of three eminent judges as they vied to secure a place in the national final to be held in Dublin in May.
The judging panel comprising Paschal McCarthy, GE Healthcare; Richard Cotter, RCCIreland and Frank Buckley, RCI, was really impressed with the entrepreneurial flair and particularly the level of preparation invested by the students, their teachers and mentors.
In opening the event, Deputy Mayor of the County of Cork, Marcia Dalton commented: "Cork hosted the first Junior Achievement Company of the Competition European Final back in 1990 and Cork County Council is delighted to continue this tradition of supporting student enterprise in the region by hosting the 2015 Junior Achievement Company Competition Regional Finals".
PepsiCo "Challenge Science" hosted by the National Maritime College of Ireland (NMCI) involved 160 6th class students in two days of interactive science workshops and experiments.
Students from Ringaskiddy Lower Harbout N.S., Scoil Cjill Ruadhain, Scoil Inse Ratha, St John's Boys N.S, and St John's Girls N.S. worked hard to unlock the secrets of forensic science and chemical energy, and to explore a century of great scientific discoveries.
PepsiCo volunteers challenged the students to create lava lamps powered by chemical energy and to undertake forensic analysis to determine the identity of the villain at the scene of a crime. 16 volunteers from PepsiCo: Richard Flynn, Noleen Fleming, Denise Coffey, Alison Walsh, Elizabeth Hobbs, Jean White, Sharon Rothwell, Xian Quinlou, Nuala O'Leary, Myles O'Donnell, Brenda Morrissey, Kevin McCarthy, Amandine Maulicci, Patrick Maher and Cliona Kelliher were really impressed by the students who tackled the series of fast-paced, science-themed activities with great enthusiasm.