The Donegal Institute of Guidance Counsellors have built on the success of their annual exhibition to combine Careers and Wellbeing for a comprehensive event enjoyed by local students.
Almost every pre-Leaving Certificate student in Co. Donegal made their way to the Twin Towns on March 8th for the 2018 Donegal IGC Career and Wellbeing Exhibition at Jackson’s Hotel.
The Donegal branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors have been running a Careers Fair for almost 20 years for the students of the county.
This year, in an ambitious move, the progressive Donegal branch expanded their annual event to include a suite of ‘Wellbeing’ stands in the grand foyer, including exhibits from Jigsaw, Foroige, Donegal Youth Services and Donegal Road Safety.
The students were treated to two floors of exhibits that focused on their future career choices and, for a first time this year, their physical and mental wellbeing.
Finn Valley College Guidance Counsellor and organising committee member Rory White said: “Every young person, indeed everybody, needs to look after their mental health and wellbeing. As Guidance Counsellors, we not only help students on their education and career paths, we also help provide support with our students’ wellbeing.
“We are delighted to see the great level of engagement that the students are having with the wellbeing exhibits this year alongside those in the careers hall and we are quite proud of the fact that our Donegal branch are pioneers in running this type of event.”
A fantastic buzz filled both levels as the excitement of getting interactive with the Road Safety VR headsets, virtual rowing race or a Hair & Beauty makeover was accompanied by the chatter of thousands and thousands of questions being asked by the eager students.
Upstairs in the spacious Finn Suite nearly 40 exhibits from most of the country’s Further and Higher education Institutions were laid out for the students to visit and enquire about the options open to them when they leave Second Level.
Third level institutions such as our own LYIT, the National Universities of Ireland, Institutes of Technology and offerings from Northern Ireland and Britain ran alongside an impressive range of Apprenticeship, Traineeship and PLC options offered by Donegal ETB.
The Gardai, Defence Forces, Teagasc, National Learning Network, Board Iasc Mhara, FAI and Vocations Ireland were also present among many more to highlight the myriad of options open to our young people in the next stage of their lives.
Feedback was positive from both the students themselves and the exhibitors, with many reflecting that Donegal is a highlight on their circuit because of both the hospitality afforded to them and also to how well the students conduct themselves. We have been voted the Coolest Place on the Planet after all!
Rory White added: “Huge thanks must go to the organizing committee of the Donegal Branch of the IGC for staging such a worthwhile event.
“The dual exhibition highlights the great work being done in our schools by guidance counselors who work extremely hard in providing help and guidance for our young people in both their career and their wellbeing needs.
“The committee also wishes to thank Ms Anne Mc Ateer, HSE Health Promotion for her help and guidance with the new venture and the staff of Jackson’s Hotel.”
See more photos from the day below. Pictures by Rachel McLaughlin, Donegal Daily.
Photos by Kelly White: