A young pupil from Co Donegal has been chosen by Pramerica Spirit of Community as one of 20 exceptional youth volunteers, working to make a positive impact on their local communities.
A fourth-Year student at Rosses Community School, Grainne McGlynn, is passionate about trying to better her community.
She jumped at the opportunity to be part of the Donegal Youth Council giving up much of her free time to deal with issues in her local area including drugs and alcohol usage within young people, mental health and sexual health, areas which Grainne believes are serious issues among young people.
As part of her volunteering role, Grainne gave presentations and speeches as well as recording a radio advert for the Donegal Road Safety working group to prevent death’s on Donegal Roads.
Meanwhile Adam Harris, founder and chief executive of Ireland’s National Autism Charity and advocacy organisation AsIAm, has been announced as the inspirational keynote speaker for this year’s Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, taking place at Titanic Belfast on Tuesday, March 31.
The Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards is the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind that rewards post-primary students for their exemplary acts of volunteerism and this year received a remarkable 250 applications.
Passionate about a range of topics including homelessness, mental health, disabled rights, climate change, animal cruelty plus many more, this year’s finalists were carefully chosen by a judging panels which included; Nina Arwitz, chief executive, Volunteer Ireland, Clive Byrne, Director, NAPD, Sean Campbell, chief executive, Foroige, Denise Hayward, chief executive, Volunteer Now, Naomi Hegarty, vice president, Pramerica and Brendan Morgan, chairperson, GTCNI.
Speaking ahead of the awards Adam said the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards were an amazing opportunity to encourage young people across Ireland to actively get involved in volunteering.
"I am very much looking forward to meeting this year’s exemplary 20 finalists. The work that they do in their local community is vitally important and it’s wonderful to see their hard work, passion and dedication getting the recognition it deserves. Each of them truly makes an invaluable contribution in their hometowns and it is crucial to acknowledge this.
“The awards ceremony takes place during World Autism Awareness Week so it’s the perfect opportunity for me to speak to these exceptional young people who will hopefully help me spread awareness and help increase acceptance of those living with autism,” he said.
Each lucky finalist will be presented with €500 at the awards ceremony. Not only that but the top two junior honourees will also receive an additional €500 for their chosen charity and two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year.
These two students will each receive €1,000 for their chosen charity, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expenses paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremonies.
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