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Students aim to banish hoodie stereotypes

This group of Clondalkin teenagers set out to show how not all hoodie-wearers live up to the stereotype.

From Moyle Park College, their work on the Heroes in Hoodies community project is set to honoured today.

They are set to join 300 other school-goers from around the country who took part in the Localise community service learning programme.

The students, aged between 13 and 15, will be presented with a certificate of achievement as well as the brand new Localise national youth volunteer school card by Government Chief Whip John Curran.

For their initiative, the students from Moyle Park College connected with their local senor citizens' Monday Club to bring an unusual awareness project on hoodies, as part of their participation in the Localise community service learning programme.

The young students organised an entertainment day with the members of the Monday Club.

The aim of the students' project was to show respect and appreciation for the elderly people of Clondalkin, and to spread awareness that hoodies are worn as a fashion statement.

"The students of Moyle Park have excelled in this project, they have rolled up their sleeves and tackled a huge local issue head on," said Derek Cleary, director of Localise.

He said that they had shown they were not happy with the hoodie stereotype that has the potential to alienate them from certain sections of society.

Meanwhile, a member of the Monday club added: "These lads have demonstrated extraordinary community spirit and have given the club a day to remember."

For this project, the Clondalkin group also won a social inclusion award from South Dublin County Council.

The Localise community service learning programme directly engages young people aged 13 and up in positive community work in their local areas.

It challenges them to care not only for themselves, but for others too, and inspires them to take action and learn through service.

Other schools taking part in the programme included: St Ailbe's School, Tipperary town; St Joseph's Secondary School, Navan; St Joseph's College, Lucan; Holy Faith Secondary School, Clontarf; St Paul's CBS, North Brunswick Street; Desmond College, Newcastle West, Co Limerick; St Dominic's Secondary School, Ballyfermot; St. Laurence's College, Loughlinstown; Mount Carmel Secondary School, King's Inn Street; and St Dominic's College, Cabra.

Localise is a youth and community development organisation with over 38 years of experience in community service work and volunteerism.