Twenty students were involved in the project and five made the presentation on the day. This is a national initiative which aims to enable our young people to meet the challenges facing them today as well as those yet to come. The award was presented to our students by Ms Elizabeth Arnett, Head of Corporate Affairs Ulster Bank, Sister Stanislaus Kennedy and the Minister for State Seán Kyne.
7,941 teenagers took part in the Young Social Innovators this year, these comprised of 218 schools and centres, who developed over 341 social innovations tackling local and global issues. They raised over €70,336 for charities and 292,072 people were impacted directly.
33 YSI teams presented their social innovation projects and competed for the overall title of Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland and for a collection of YSI Challenge Awards. Galway City Youthreach entered under the category of “Make our world a better place for Young People Challenge”. We were one of four shortlisted to present our project in the Croke Park showcase..
Our project focuses on understanding the teenage brain in order to gain a better insight into adolescent feelings, thoughts and behaviours. As part of the project we worked with various organisations such as Youth Work Ireland, Foróige, Cope, Western Region Drugs Task Force, Local Garda Diversion Projects, Jigsaw etc. We ran educational programmes designed for teenagers, we designed awareness posters, we created an educational card game which we hope could become part of the S.P.H.E programme in schools and different centres.
The Coordinator spoke to the Ombudsman for Children and Young people Dr Niall Muldoon, who felt the presentation had enlightened him with regard to his own personal insight into his teenage daughters. Other comments made which bolstered the success of our project were “that our art work especially the hats worn by our students were amazing, helped to visualise the teenage brain”, “the students showed individuality in the way they spoke”, “knowledge of the project and of what teenagers can be like today and their difficulties”.
We are so proud of our student’s achievement and the day was made all the more special as it was attended by Gerard Griffin who is the National Co-Ordinator of Youthreach who expressed huge pride on our students win.