Award-winning - the Ysi Peace of Minds group at Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny
A Donegal school has been honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards for its positive impact in helping to create a more equal, fair and sustainable world.
Picking up the ‘Make Our World Healthier – Mental Health Award’, the team from Loreto Secondary School, Letterkenny was recognised for its ‘Peace of Minds’’ project.
The Loreto team were passionate about promoting positive mental health in their community particularly during Covid-19.
The students’ innovative response to this issue involved a recognition campaign for local volunteers in association with the Donegal Volunteer Centre as well as the design of a printed and digital wellbeing calendar featuring suggested monthly activities to promote positive mental health.
Now in its 20th year, YSI focuses on empowering Ireland’s young people to reimagine the world and the communities they live in, by developing and implementing ideas that help create a fairer, more equal and sustainable world.
Friday’s Awards ceremony was compered by Virgin Media’s Zara King along with former Hometown member, and YSI Speak Out Tour Host, Dayl Cronin. It was a huge celebration of teenagers’ achievements in what has been a challenging year for students and their teachers.
This year’s YSI programme saw participation from 5,410 Irish teenagers and the development of 354 innovation projects.
In all, 33 shortlisted projects competed for the headline and category awards.
Young Social Innovators co-founder and CEO, Rachel Collier, said, “As YSI marks 20 years, I continue to be inspired by Ireland’s young people.
“Social innovation education is not confined within the walls of schools. It is about young people taking their place in their communities and society.
“While of course students were restricted by being out of school a lot of the time, they still managed to be creative, to collaborate with people in the local community and beyond and to make a significant difference to issues they care about."
Addressing this year’s participants during the Awards Ceremony An Taoiseach, Micheál Martin, said: “Young social innovators is 20 years old this year, it set out with a big vision that Ireland’s young people could be inspired, empowered and equipped to change the world for good.
“It has pioneered social innovation education not only here in Ireland but out across the world embracing schools in Zambia, Canada, Lebanon, and more recently Sweden.
“It continues to prove that through social innovation education we can empower young people to take your place in society and use your voices, insights, talents and learning to shape a better and fairer world."
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