Limerick students get a glimpse into the future thanks to J&J Vision

Aoife KellyNational, West

50 Leaving Cert students from Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park graduated from the 3 year Johnson & Johnson  Bridge to Employment (BTE) Programme on 10th May, 2022.  Johnson & Johnson Vision* and Junior Achievement Ireland (“JAI”), collaborated with both schools to bring this unique opportunity to the then TY students.

The programme, supported by Johnson & Johnson, is part of the company’s global BTE initiative which aims to encourage young people to pursue higher education and careers in the healthcare industry. The programme aimed to engage students in their last three years of secondary school who demonstrate academic potential but may face barriers to career progression.

Ciara Grimes, Student, Ardscoil Mhuire, Limerick said that: “I am delighted to have been part of the Johnson & Johnson BTE programme over the last 3 years. I have been given so many opportunities to help me towards achieving my goals to progress to 3rd level education. Until we spent a week working in Johnson & Johnson Vision I was unaware of all the different jobs in the company.  My time on the BTE programme has helped me realise I would like to study Business in college and, hopefully, one day work for a company like Johnson & Johnson Vision.”

Vivienne Hogan, Principal Thomond Community College said that: “Being part of the Johnson & Johnson BTE programme has been a very rewarding experience for our students.  It was unique in the fact that it took the students from TY right through to their Leaving Certificate concentrating on providing various supports to help the students reach their full potential. Through the programme our BTE students have also been given the opportunity to apply for further education scholarships to help them towards the costs of pursing further education.  I would like to sincerely thank Johnson & Johnson Vision in Limerick for their commitment to our school and students and we look forward to working in partnership over the years ahead.” 

John Lynch, Plant Manager, Johnson & Johnson Vision, commented:

Congratulations to the 50 students from Ardscoil Mhuire and Thomond Community College, who have graduated from the Bridge to Employment programme. It has been an honour to follow their progress over the past three years and on behalf of everyone at Johnson & Johnson Vision, I would like to wish them every success in the future.

For nearly three decades, the Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment programme has inspired young people, typically aged 14 to 18, to pursue education, excel in academics, and broaden their career aspirations. Given our commitment to supporting our local community here in Limerick, we were delighted to partner with Junior Achievement Ireland in supporting senior cycle students from Ardscoil Mhuire, Corbally and Thomond Community College, Moylish Park to pursue careers in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields, as well as the manufacturing and design industries.

We are also proud to announce that as part of this year’s programme we will be awarding a number of further education scholarships to programme participants to help them towards the costs of pursing further education. We look forward to awarding the scholarships to the successful participants in the coming months.’

On behalf of Junior Achievement Ireland, Ann Butler, Director of Development said: “Research shows that working with ‘real-world’ volunteers helps young people to see the relevance of their academic studies to their everyday. The Johnson & Johnson Bridge to Employment programme helped 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. Congratulations to all the graduating students you have bring futures ahead!  Thank you to Johnson & Johnson Vision for partnering with Junior Achievement Ireland to support this impactful initiative.”