American Chamber of Commerce Helps Junior Achievement Celebrate 20 years in Ireland

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JA 20th Anniversary for JAWebMark Redmond, American Chamber of Commerce; Siobhan Collins, Avaya; Helen Raftery, Junior Achievement Ireland; and Mark Gantly, Hewlett Packard celebrating 20 years of Junior Achievement in Ireland

The work of volunteers with JAI was featured at the ‘Why Ireland? Celebrating Great Innovation in Ireland’ event in Galway organised by the American Chamber of Commerce recently.

The contribution of US companies in Ireland goes far beyond the economic impact. US companies are responsible for significant social benefits in communities throughout the country as they provide substantial human and financial resources to support innovative and inclusive programmes such as those facilitated by volunteers working with JAI.

Amcham 2Siobhán Collins of AVAYA speaking at the ‘Why Ireland? Celebrating Great Innovation in Ireland’ eventIn celebrating 20 years of industry-education partnerships in the west, guests at the event considered the impact of volunteers working with students in combating educational disadvantage and promoting the relevance of what young people were studying with their post-school futures and the ‘real world’. Attendees heard at first-hand the impact of these types of initiatives as Siobhán Collins who completed JA programmes as a student and subsequently became a JA volunteer at AVAYA said: “I participated in JA programmes when I was a student and I jumped at the opportunity to become a volunteer when I joined AVAYA.  Teaching a JA programme was a great opportunity to get involved, and give back, to my community. JAI plays an invaluable role in encouraging young people to stay in education and teaching them the skills they will need in the future. I’m delighted to celebrate JAI’s 20th Anniversary and would love to volunteer again in the future.”

Student Entrepreneurs Claim Regional Crown

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Regional Finalists Collage for WebsiteRegional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta Comórtas Fiontraíochta

Four emerging enterprises founded by local students in the Mayo and Galway Gaeltacht areas have been crowned regional finalists of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár Comhlachta.

Clár Comhlachta is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with Junior Achievement Ireland (JAI) and is taught by business volunteers through the Irish language to students in Gaeltacht regions.  500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry, Mayo, Meath & Waterford have participated this year and challenged themselves to create, operate and manage their very own business!

Following intense days of competition in both Mayo & Galway the following four entreprises; ‘CPA Woodwork’ from Coláiste Pobail, Acla, ‘Cluasáin Clúdaithe’ from Scoil Mhuire, Béal an Mhuirthead, Blas de Chonamara  from Scoil Phobail Mhic Dara, Carna and Cothú Cinnte from Colaiste Chroi Mhuire from An Spiddeal were chosen to progress and represent their region in the National Final of the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí.

Údarás na Gaeltachta Inspires a New Generation of Entrepreneurs

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Udaras LaunchHelen Raftery, CEO of JAI; Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs; Amy Ní Fhlatharta and Eoin Ó Murchú, students at Coláiste Cholmcille and Stiofán Ó Cualáin, Údarás na Gaeltachta

500 Transition Year students from Gaeltacht regions in Cork, Galway, Donegal, Kerry Mayo, Meath & Waterford will participate in the Údarás na Gaeltachta – Clár na gComhlachtaí this year.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs launched the 2016/17 programme in Coláiste Cholmcille, Indreabhán and students from the school were on hand to display some of the innovative ideas that they have for their fledgling businesses!

Clár na gComhlachtaíis is a hands-on business learning experience developed and delivered in partnership with JAI and is taught through the Irish language to students attending schools in Gaeltacht regions. Based on the well-established JA Company Programme and Company of the Year Competition, students create, operate and manage their own business. The programme provides numerous opportunities for the development and reinforcement of important academic and leadership skills.

Local business volunteers, each of whom is recruited, trained and supported by JAI, mentor the students alongside their teachers as they move from the idea generation stage, to production, marketing, sales, finance right through to going to market.

Based on research on entrepreneurship education, students participating in Údarás Clár na gComhlachtaí are more likely to start their own business, are at lower risk of being unemployed, and are more often in steady employment into adulthood. These projected outcomes are based on the success schemes around Europe, which incorporate the JA Company Programme, on which the design of Clár na gComhlachtaí is based.

Seán Kyne TD, Minister of State for Gaeltacht Affairs commented: “I’d like to congratulate Údarás na Gaeltachta and Junior Achievement Ireland for their collaboration on Clár na gComhlachtaí and I wish the students all the best in this very worthwhile initiative. Businesses are at the heart of the economy in this country and this programme is a wonderful opportunity to instill entrepreneurship in young people.”

DeCare Dental Delivering Smiles for Students!

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Noeleen Lowry with students re Sugars Noeleen Lowry of DeCare Dental examines sugars levels in foods with students from Ballindine N.S.

DeCare Dental, a specialist dental insurance and oral health company based in Claremorris, has partnered with Junior Achievement Ireland since 2014 and already nearly 40 employees have delivered enterprise and science programmes to more than 600 local students in Claremorris, Co. Mayo.

During the 2015/16 school year, local students from Ballindine N.S., Gaelscoil Uileog De Burca and Convent of Mercy availed of the opportunity to be involved in Junior Achievement programmes with DeCare Dental volunteers. The programmes delivered by the volunteers ranged from the ‘Ourselves’ programme for senior infants who enjoyed developing an understanding of helping, working, earning and saving, through to senior primary level students gaining valuable entrepreneurial and STEM (Science Technology, Engineering, Maths) skills in the ‘Our World’ and ‘Our Universe’ programmes.

E.P.A. Enlightening Local Mayo Students

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Students from Ballyvary N.S. with volunteers Michelle McKim, John Gibbons, Robert Wilkes & Brid Farragher Junior Achievement Ireland were delighted to partner with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the first time in 2015/2016 school year. Within weeks of initiating … Read More