BRIGHT youngsters at a Listowel secondary are now in the running for one of the country's most prestigious accolades based on their committment to each other and to their community.
Fifth years at Listowel Community College are preparing to enter the exacting Gaisce Awards programme in 2013 and are now building up a portfolio of their work and achievements to meet the requirements of Gaisce.
Gaisce is the President's Awards and is described as the country's 'most prestigious and respected Awards programme and a challenge from the President of Ireland to you (our young between 15 and 25)...the nation's future.
The students will focus on community involvement, personal skill, physical recreation and will also undertake an adventure journey over two days and one night.
With the gauntlet thrown down by Uachtarán Michael D Higgins, fifth years at the Listowel college are psyched up for the year. Students Alex Enright and James Relihan were this week chosen as the mentors. The pair will supervise and inspire their colleagues as they vie for the award and were chosen as they have prior experience of the awards through their time with the Kerry Diocesan Youth Service (KDYS).
"It's very good," Alex told The Kerryman. "Under the Gaisce programme in the KDYS we did everything from cycling, soccer, litter-picking to fishing and other stuff."
Teacher Aisling Culhane explained that the objective of the awards is to give students achievable personal goals and the resultant confidence reaped through meeting them. "We're going to be using work we're already doing. For instance, their student council work will be acceptable for community involvement and they will be learning new skills towards personal development. We will also be introducing new sports to them under the physical recreation requirement . "
Best of all, they get to have one hell of an exciting weekend later in the year. "They will undergoing an adventure weekend over two days and one night, involving everything from canoeing to mountain climbing!"