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Rotary Club holds youth Leadership Awards after Covid forced cancellation of last year’s event

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From left: Mary O’Callaghan, Awards’ Co-ordinator with Hannah O’Connor, Martha Cox, Peter Byrne, Rotary President, Zak Hastie (school winner), Jonas Stafford and Craig Petrie, Principal at the East Glendalough School.

From left: Mary O’Callaghan, Awards’ Co-ordinator with Hannah O’Connor, Martha Cox, Peter Byrne, Rotary President, Zak Hastie (school winner), Jonas Stafford and Craig Petrie, Principal at the East Glendalough School.

Andy Bolger, Chair of the Rotary Club of Wicklow Youth Leadership Awards presents the winning trophy to Aldrin Omana, transition year student at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin.

Andy Bolger, Chair of the Rotary Club of Wicklow Youth Leadership Awards presents the winning trophy to Aldrin Omana, transition year student at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin.

From left: Aoife Nixon with Lorraine Mynes, Principal, Jamie Kavanagh (school winner), Peter Byrne, Rotary President, Laura Griffin, Leah Anderson and Paula Kristiansen, Awards’ Co-ordinator at the Dominican College Wicklow.

From left: Aoife Nixon with Lorraine Mynes, Principal, Jamie Kavanagh (school winner), Peter Byrne, Rotary President, Laura Griffin, Leah Anderson and Paula Kristiansen, Awards’ Co-ordinator at the Dominican College Wicklow.

From left: Padraig Donoghue, Principal with Bosco Guinan, Deputy Principal, Aldrin Omana (school and outright winner), Peter Byrne, President, Wicklow Rotary, Rian Byrne and Caitriona Smith, Deputy Principal at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin.

From left: Padraig Donoghue, Principal with Bosco Guinan, Deputy Principal, Aldrin Omana (school and outright winner), Peter Byrne, President, Wicklow Rotary, Rian Byrne and Caitriona Smith, Deputy Principal at Coláiste Chill Mhantáin.

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From left: Mary O’Callaghan, Awards’ Co-ordinator with Hannah O’Connor, Martha Cox, Peter Byrne, Rotary President, Zak Hastie (school winner), Jonas Stafford and Craig Petrie, Principal at the East Glendalough School.

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THE Rotary Club of Wicklow presented their Youth Leadership Development Awards last week to successful students in Coláiste Chill Mhantain, Wicklow Dominican College and East Glendalough School.

After an extensive interview process conducted last year, the school winners went on to the final interview which was carried out by an independent committee.

Andy Bolger, chair of the Rotary Youth Leadership Committee said: “We couldn't hold the awards last year due to Covid so it was important to resume the competition this year. During the interviews, Wicklow students displayed positive leadership skills and a broad knowledge of social and environmental challenges facing us here in Wicklow as well as internationally.

"Most Rotary clubs around the country didn't proceed with the competition this year due to the pandemic. It is therefore to the schools' credit in Wicklow that teachers and students took part despite huge pressures in their schools due to Covid.”

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He outlined the aims of the competition which rewards young people with clear leadership potential based on their extra-curricular activities.

“Ten students made it to the Rotary shortlist after submitting detailed entry forms and going through intensive interview sessions. The three best students were then selected for the final interviews,” added Mr Bolger.

He announced Aldrin Omana, transition year student at Coláiste Chill Mhantain as the overall winner of the coveted Wicklow Rotary Youth Leadership trophy.

"While Aldrin was the winner, the judges were really impressed with the knowledge all students displayed on local issues as well as national and international subjects including politics, climate change, crime and education," he said.

Outright winner Aldrin and school winners Jamie Kavanagh, Dominican College Wicklow and Zak Hastie, East Glendalough received their certificates last week. They were joined by other school representatives Aoife Nixon, Laura Griffin and Leah Anderson of the Dominican College, Rian Byrne of Coláiste Chill Mhantain and Hannah O Connor, Jonas Stafford and Martha Cox of East Glendalough.

Peter Byrne, Rotary President paid a special tribute to the school organisers.

He said: "I wish to thank all school principals and staff but especially Mary O'Callaghan, East Glendalough School, Paula Kristiansen, Dominican College and Ann Chambers, Coláiste Chill Mhantain for their support in organising the event.

“We are especially grateful to Rotarian Andy Bolger, chair of the awards committee and our members and friends for their help in conducting the interviews."

The Rotary Club of Wicklow is part of a worldwide association and it places strong emphasis on youth projects including the Youth Leadership Award and Foróige, the Wicklow youth development organisation.


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