The school community at Loreto Secondary School Letterkenny is celebrating a remarkable achievement this week after winning a Young Social Innovators Schools of Excellence Award.
The school has won the accolade for being a dedicated member of the Young Social Innovators (YSI) Schools Network for many years.
Loreto Letterkenny will proudly hold the title alongside hundreds of schools throughout Ireland who have discovered the benefits of youth-led social innovation education.
YSI Teams from Loreto Letterkenny have garnered great success at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland Awards for many years. Transition Year teams won two awards at the 2018 Awards held in Croke Park this past May.
Each year, the YSI programme supports thousands of young people to explore social issues that concern them and come up with a variety of responses.
Moved by images and reports of the war in Syria, the ‘F.R.E.E. – For Refugees Entering Éire’ team are making refugees feel more at home in their community through the creation of Welcome Packs for new families.
The ‘Better Safe Than Sorry’ team worked with An Garda Síochána, Letterkenny Chamber of Commerce and Donegal County Council to create a ‘Safe Zone’ in their town which includes a free phone to call a taxi and Garda-monitored CCTV. The teams were mentored by teachers Siobhan McKeague and Dearbhail Keys.
YSI Mentor Ms Siobhan McKeague has praised the Schools of Excellence award as a fantastic achievement for the school.
Ms McKeague said: “We are so proud of all the students. The students have been putting in years of work into YSI so this recognition is very welcome.”
The prestigious award will serve as a motivational boost for all, Ms McKeague added.
“We have a standard to keep up now. It will make the students want to aim higher.”
“I have to give credit to the students in previous years. Without their hard work you wouldn’t get to this high level. We have such fantastic motivated students who put in great work on their projects.”
The new TY classes can look forward to another year ahead implementing innovative ideas to benefit the community.
Speaking at the North West YSI SpeakOut earlier this year, Nora Friel, Principal of Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny said: “YSI has been running in our school for many years and it has been a huge success. It has provided our students with opportunities to make a difference, be innovative, creative, reach out to others, work together and change lives. The positive impacts of our students’ involvement with YSI has extended far beyond the school community.”
YSI Co-Founder and CEO Rachel Collier said: “Our member schools which demonstrate an extraordinary and on-going commitment to engaging students and teachers at both junior and senior levels in social innovation action for a fairer, more inclusive and equal society, are presented with our School of Excellence Award. Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny, is one such extraordinary school and I applaud the dedication to social justice and innovation which it promotes by engaging in YSI programmes.”
YSI’s Schools of Excellence Awards were launched by former Taoiseach, Enda Kenny in March 2014.
Applications are now open for YSI’s Social Innovation Action Programmes for Senior and Junior Cycles. Visit youngsocialinnovators.ie to learn more about the programme.Tags: