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South East

Waterford Local Enterprise Office LEAP into Action in Local Schools

LEAP 1

200 primary students from eight schools across Waterford city and county have taken part in the Local Enterprise Achievement Programme (LEAP), sponsored by Waterford Local Enterprise Office.

At the start of the programme each class was visited by a local business person who delivered the Junior Achievement 'Our First Business' programme, empowering students to come up with their very first business idea. All the students' hard work and preparation came to fruition at the LEAP Event which was held in Waterford Institute of Technology on 7th and 8th June.

LEAP 2Minister John Halligan TD visiting students at their stand to hear their business ideasMinister John Halligan TD, Minister of State for Training, Skills and Innovation, who opened the LEAP Event on the 8th of June said: “Initiatives such as the LEAP Project are essential for fostering entrepreneurial attitudes and skills in the Waterford area, which will help to ensure Ireland continues to be one of the most entrepreneurial countries in the world. We must support young people to acquire the skills and confidence they need so that they can face any challenge and shape their careers in the future world of work. I commend Junior Achievement and Waterford Local Enterprise Office for such a wonderful initiative.

Each day four local schools showcased their business ideas and presented them to local business people known as FROGS (For Recognition of Greatness in Students) who questioned the students on their ideas leap 3In the middle of the action are John Halligan, Minister of State for Training and Skills; Helen Raftery, CEO, JAI; Richie Walsh, Head of Enterprise, Waterford LEO; Tom O’ Toole, Head of the School of Business, WITand offered each group a fictional investment in recognition of the potential of their business idea.

Speaking at the event Jacqui Gaule from Waterford LEO said: “One of our core values at Waterford LEO is to encourage the spirit of enterprise in our local community. 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 that Junior Achievement is our partner for this project.

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MSD Ballydine Promotes STEM Skills to Local Students

ballydine croppedMSD Volunteers with students from Presentation Primary School, Clonmel

On 24th May four staff from MSD (Ireland) Ballydine volunteered to deliver a STEM workshop with 5th class students from Presentation Primary School in Clonmel. Over the course of one morning they promoted the importance of STEM skills through a series of three workshops.

Students also learned about the different roles in MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and how STEM skills were a regular part of their everyday working lives. Volunteers Nuala Strappe, Linda Kehoe and Áine O’Driscoll shared their varied career paths and encouraged the students to consider the importance of these subjects in their primary and secondary school education.

Teacher Roisin Prendergast said “The 5th class girls are at a crucial level in deciding what they would like to do subject wise in secondary school so a programme like this really encourages STEM subjects. I also felt that it was very useful for the girls to meet people in different working areas of MSD Ireland (Ballydine) and to have those role models to learn from. Thank you to the ladies for giving up their time for such an important learning experience.”

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Vhi Volunteers Shine in Local Schools in Kilkenny

Our CIty Shirley traitShirley Trait with 3rd class students from St. Patrick’s De La Salle N.S., Kilkenny

Across the 2016/2017 school year, 12 volunteers from Vhi volunteered to teach JA programmes in 5 local schools reaching 303 students in Kilkenny.

The Junior Achievement programmes were taught to a wide range of students – from Senior Infants in primary school to fourth year students at second level and covered a range of topics including science, maths, financial literacy, entrepreneurship, communication and practical life skills.  Through hands-on, interactive activities, the students learned about the world of work and how their town and community operate.

Therese Bourke, Vhi , commented, “Vhi was delighted to continue our strong support of Junior Achievement Ireland to help deliver this very worthwhile activity in local Kilkenny schools.  Year on year our staff volunteer to participate and we genuinely feel that they benefit almost as much as pupils.  We are very proud to support our local schools and look forward to partnering with Junior Achievement Ireland to continue these very beneficial activities.”

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Sanofi ‘STEM Zoo’ Explores STEM In Waterford

STEM Skills, College Options & Careers Investigated

2Students, teachers and volunteers celebrate after the STEM Zoo

Sanofi have sponsored a unique secondary school project called ‘STEM Zoo’ which was hosted by the Waterford Institute of Technology and involved all 10 local Secondary schools in Waterford. Over the course of 2 days, 200 5th year students participated in Science-Technology-Engineering-Maths (STEM) activities which encouraged the students to progress to a 3rd level course in that area and enjoy a great career locally, including the possibility of a career in Sanofi.

STEM 1A STEM Zoo student designs an App‘Sanofi STEM Zoo’ was designed to complement the school curriculum and consisted of four modules covering each of the STEM subject areas. Each module was led by business volunteers from Sanofi who introduced themselves, their position in Sanofi, their career and education path to date as well as the importance of their chosen STEM discipline in a company such as Sanofi.

The students participated in interactive activities which practised and developed their STEM skills before being joined by WIT staff who offered advice on courses to consider when applying for a 3rd level qualification. As the event is staged in WIT, the students have the opportunity to see first-hand the facilities on offer should they choose to study a STEM programme in the college.

Denise Power, Area Manager – South East, Junior Achievement Ireland, commented: “We are all aware of the benefits for students, especially those who struggle to maximise their potential, when they can make connections between their in-school work and what they see as the ‘real world’. Working with Sanofi and other industry partners helps to make the learning very real for these young people and they are inspired by the stories they hear from professionals who are building exciting careers in the STEM area – people relate to people and that’s the power we’re able to tap into with programmes like Sanofi STEM Zoo."

7Helen Raftery, JAI; Lyn Dowling, Sanofi; Adam Wyse, Mayor of Waterford; Emma Walsh, Sanofi; Orla O’Donovan, WIT with students from Abbey Community College

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Port of Waterford Volunteers Recognised

AAAA Port of waterford recognition event photos

Junior Achievement Ireland were delighted to recognise the support of the Port of Waterford recently at their first ever volunteer recognition event.  We presented their ‘End of Year Report’ along with the volunteer certificates to the staff who kindly gave up their time, knowledge and skills to primary and secondary school students and helped them learn more about jobs in their community.

Brian Moore, Administration Manager, Port of Waterford said that "the Port of Waterford exists as a driver of the regional economy and part of the local community. The Junior Achievement programme allows us the opportunity to engage directly with our community, and our small investment in the project is repaid many times over such a positive experience."

The partnership commenced in Faithlegg N.S. with Pilot, Victor Whitty, presenting the junior achievement, our community programme to 2nd class students and continued to Mount Sion secondary school where Arthur Kearney (also a past pupil) helped the students understand what success means to them through the Junior Achievement Economics of staying in school programme!  It was great to see a past pupil given the opportunity to share his life experiences with students.

Anne Berry, Principal and class teacher said “The programme allowed the students to see how education extends out into the world of business and they also learned important team working skills and how companies have standards that must be reached. The impact of having a business volunteer like Victor deliver the programme is really important and it really engages the students.

Denise Power, Area Manager, commented, “With the support of partners like Port of Waterford we are able to connect students with the world outside their classrooms in a way which is both meaningful and educational. Helping students to connect what they do in school with the world around them to ensure they see the relevance of their studies in their everyday lives is a very important aspect of their development and one in which we are delighted that Port of Waterford  has invested its resources and expertise.”    

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