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A DIFFERENCE Tackle Social Issues For a Better Future


reland faces difficult economic and social challenges, but young people who want to create a fair, just and inclusive society demonstrate a positive future for the country. After all, Ireland’s most important resource is its young people. There are plenty of ways to make a positive contribution in your area. Since it started equipping young people with valuable life skills and social awareness 10 years ago, Young Social Innovators (YSI) has enabled 35,000 teenagers to get involved in community-based projects. These young people have set up youth cafes, in addition to social inclusion and educational initiatives for the elderly and disabled. Some have even implemented award-winning programmes on issues such as mental health, road safety, bullying and alcohol abuse. Carried out in 38 countries, a report called the International Civic and Citizenship Study discovered that Irish students performed well above the international average, ranked at 7th overall, on a test of civic knowledge. In March this year, 5,500 young people aged 15-18 years of age were invited to

share their ideas and talk about projects they worked on for tackling society’s most pressing social issues. Sr Stanislaus Kennedy, chairperson of Young Social Innovators, congratulated 800 teenagers who gathered in Dublin on the fresh approaches they brought to social issues including mental health, teenage pregnancy, social inclusion and domestic abuse and homelessness. Sr Kennedy urged the government to pay attention to what young people have to say about Ireland. Young people are a powerful force for good and by getting involved in programmes such as the Young Social Innovators, they can make a difference in society.



oung Social Innovators (YSI) give thousands of young people in Ireland the chance for real life experience of social innovation and enterpeneurship every year. YSI’s mission is to raise social awareness among 15-18 year olds in Ireland, enhancing their sense of justice and responsibility. Young people tackle a social issue that matters to them and work in teams. This issue could impact their school, community, locality or Ireland. Together they study the issue and find ways of solving it.

In 2010 Scoil Mhuire Gan Smal in Blarney, Co. Cork, scooped d the Young Social Innovators of the Year award for their project, The Mill Youth Cafe. They highlighted a lack of facilities for young people in the local area, which was contributing to anti-social behaviour. For the project, they set up a youth cafe after receiving a donation from the local council.

Since it started out in 2001, YSI has tackled issues including social integration, youth facilities, healthy support services, road safety and domestic violence. YSI’s growth has been huge. In its first year, 158 students participated. In 2011, there were 5,500 students undertaking more than 300 projects.

It is a team-based and youth-led process of learning by doing. The group in Cork secured €5,000 towards building and renovating costs of the building, proving that young people working together with a goal to benefit the community can achieve great results.



elebrating its 10th birthday this year, YSI has tested what is now seen as good practice in education for citizenship and social innovation, known simply as the 4 Cs: Care, Cooperation, Change and Communications. Learning and understanding about what you CARE for in society


A DIFFERENCE A YSI project is work young people do to improve the lives of people in society or in local communities. It is led by young people and carried out in a way that is: Respectful: Shows respect for all people. Empowering: Young people pick the issue; they lead the work and they decide and carry out the action. Fair: Treats everyone fairly and is concerned with justice and equality for everyone.

Working and COOPERATING with others to make a difference

Innovative: Looks at the world in new ways and changes the existing situation Fun: Enjoys working on the project

Creating CHANGE to improve lives, the environment, how we live

COMMUNICATING and telling the story of what, how and why change is needed!

Experiential: Test ideas through action – believing and acting. Through YSI, one third of participating students have become more involved in their local community, so it has a significant impact.



ercy Mounthawk in Tralee won the YSI Silver Award in 2010 for addressing the he difficulty that some young people ople have expressing their emotions ons and the negative consequences cess that this could have.

Their project was about promoting positive mental health and the team carried out many activities in their local area, including staying silent for 111 hours so that they could develop sympathy or empathy for those who are suffering from mentall health issues and are unable to speak out about them. They also held a Write ‘Love’ on your Arm Day in the school, highlighting the issue of self-harming, changing something negative into something positive. They created a Facebook page with many happy comments and good

thoughts for the day and, in their school, they created a wall of happiness with lots of students contributing bricks with descriptions of what made them happy written on them.

A week of emotion promotion events was promoted to reach the broader school community featuring musicians and artists. The group then realised through their research that many young people didn’t feel they had the tools or skills to deal with their emotional health.



A DIFFERENCE d disaffection and health problems. In the Show Racism the Red Card DVD, one girl talks about regretting being black. No one should feel like that. Some of the entries are online:

Promote integration, show racism the red card! Show Racism the Red Card encourages young people to do just that. Its summer camp for boys and girls aged between 11 and 15 from the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland involves a week of intercultural learning, fun and adventure activities. The charity also provides educational packs for schools.After listening to players they admire and respect speaking about the effect of racism on them and their fellow players, 50 students at Donabate/ Portrane Educate Together National School decided to create projects, such as posters and videos, to promote the message ‘show racism the red card’ and make a difference. Fight racism through art, music and sport! More than 80 schools entered the Show Racism the Red Card Creative Competition Awards 2011 to promote the message. The winning entry came from the students at Blakestown Community School in Dublin 15. Among the runners up were St Dominics National School, Tallaght. They produced a song called ‘See Past My Eyes’ with their teacher leading on guitar. There is evidence that racist abuse has serious negative impacts on children, leading to depression,

R Raise the red card! If you have experienced or witnessed incidences of racism, you can report them – anonymously, if you wish, at

HELP CHARITIES TO REACH OUT TO OTHERS Stirling Ó Mháirtin from Dundalk Grammar School took the top prize in the Junior Category at the Student Enterprise Awards in Croke Park in April this year.

Nominated by Louth County Enterprise Board, Stirlingís bracelet-making company Awe Wish Ireland was set up to promote the Make A Wish Foundation.



team of young people at Davis College in Mallow, Cork, tried to deal with the impact of the recession as they found that it affected all of them in some way, again calling in the experts to get information.

They wanted to get underneath the statistics on unemployment and highlight what was happening in their own town and what was happening them as young people. Their solution was to say ‘F’ to the recession recession – Fios, Forbaiocht agus Fostiocht, which translates to knowledge, development and employment. The team organised an expo, featuring exhibitors such as the money advise bureau, FAS, Enterprise Ireland and many more and saw talks and workshops by professionals

advising people about managing their finances, how to get involved in training courses and how to deal with unemployment. They produced a DVD and a booklet offering practical advice that they obtained through interviewing HR managers of local companies on how to construct a good CV and cover letter, as well as how to prepare for, dress for and carry out a good interview. Their booklet won an innovation award in the North Cork Enterprise competition. In addition, they organised a work placement scheme, whereby people could volunteer to do jobs for agencies, organizations or in the community with a view to up skilling or using skills that they already had on a voluntary basis. Their placement scheme resulted in two full-time employment positions for people in the community of Mallow.The team were awarded €1000 by the YSI Den to produce their award winning booklet and DVD and also offered marketing advice for their venture.





resentation Secondary School in Tuam took on the Making Our World Greener challenge.They decided to restore the town of Tuam by transforming one of the main streets and the town square. First, they pinpointed problems that they wished to improve including the river bank, the appearance of some neglected buildings, the lack of colour and greenery in the town and the absence of a focal point. Then they appointed teams to work on each of the problems. They hired a local artist to teach them how to improve the facade of buildings by painting mock shop fronts and commissioned a piece of sculpture in the form of a donkey for the town’s focal point.

The group linked with and formed partnerships with many organisations including FAS, Tuam Town Council, Galway County Council, Tuam Chamber of Commerce, Tuam Tidy Towns as well as local businesses. They held meetings with the Mayor and local council and were granted permission to carry out all of their planned activities including paint dilapidated buildings, planting flowers and shrubs and installing a focal point on the square.



lso working for changes to improve the lives of young people in Ireland is Dáil na nÓg, the National Youth Parliament for young people aged 12-18 years. It gives young people from around Ireland the opportunity to represent the views of those under the voting age of 18. Through Dáil na nÓg, young people from all over Ireland meet and discuss issues that are important to them, call for changes to services and policies that affect their lives, and lobby for those changes to be made by Government. If you’re wondering what they talk about, in recent years delegates have discussed issues such as exam pressures, body image, the cost of education, young people having a say in education, bullying, depression and suicide, exercise and sport, sexual health, road safety and youth facilities.

The Th National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) has organised Dáil na nÓg in cooperation with the OMCYA since 2003. Most Dáil na nÓg delegates are elected by members of their Comhairle na nÓg (local youth council). There are 34 Comhairle na nÓg across Ireland. In this way the delegates are each representing their local authority area. Each Comhairle na nÓg (local youth council) elects one representative to a smaller group called the ‘Dáil na nÓg Council’ which meets around once a month. They work to seek support from policy-makers and Ministers for changes. To ensure that Dáil na nÓg represents all young people, some delegates also come from seldom heard or minority groups.



lexander Amini, 15, from Castleknock College was named the winner of this year’s BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition for his project entitled Tennis Sensor Data Analysis. Alexander, a 4th year student, was presented with a cheque for €5,000, a Waterford Crystal trophy and the opportunity to represent Ireland at the 22nd European Union Young Scientist competition taking place in Helsinki, Finland this September.



Group which went to 4th year students Thomas Cronin, Dylan Cross and Jeremy Barisch-Rooney from Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven, Co Cork for their project entitled ‘DIY wind power – portable community generators for the Third World.’

The award for individual runner-up went to 5th year student James Doyle, Presentation de la Salle College, Carlow for his project entitled ‘The potential of waste materials from hedgerow cuttings as a feasible biomass fuel’. The project analyses data from wearable sensors worn by a tennis player and identifies different types of shot (e.g. backhand dropshot, forehand volley, sliced serve etc). The sensors, produced for Dublin City University and Tennis Ireland, continuously track the speed and orientation of the player and their racquet. The shot classification is carried out using sophisticated data mining techniques.An average accuracy of 95 percent was achieved for 12 different strokes, which is higher than results achieved in other published research. Further awards presented included Best



ames Eggers, 16, a pupil at St Michael’s College in south Dublin began work on a project for the Young Scientist Competition back in September 2010. James had been programming since the age of 12, following his dad into a career in IT. Like his classmates, James spent a lot of time online and on social networking websites. It was Twitter, in particular, ticular, that caught his interest, however.. On Twitter people around the world post tweets, which are basically short messages. He spotted the he opportunity to access cess 1 per cent of the Twitterr stream at no charge and geographically eographically locate where the tweets were coming from. He wanted to analyse the tweets for regional variations and figure out what people’s tweets could tell us about how we were feeling. In this experiment, approximately four million Tweets originating from Ireland were collected between September 21st and December 14th 2010.

James mined Twitter and built algorithms that tagged the Tweets as being positive, negative or neutral, creating a very accurate picture of how the emotions and moods of people in Ireland cchange and fluctuate over time. example, one graph compares the For ex mood of an average day to that of the Budget. Budg At about 17:30, the time the A Budget was being read, the B mood of the people in ccollective co l Ireland bbegins to plummet rapidly. sudden drop in the mood is consistent Th sudde This for therefore indicating that it fo or a few hours, h is not an aanomaly and that people weren’t too happy with the Budget. Eggers won the top prize in his category, as well as a commercial programming opportunity with Charm, a cutting-edge London design firm. He also proved that a 16-year-old could join the information revolution.




he first ever Global Teen Business Summit will take place between August 22-24 this year, which will consist of discussions on how teen entrepeneurs can create a better future. The event will be conducted entirely online via Skype and streamed in 3-hour time blocks each day, so anyone in the world can tune in by visiting the website. Among the speakers will be Connell Wise, the founder and CEO of the US Youth Chamber of Commerce – “The World’s 1st Chamber of Commerce For 13-25 Year Old Business Executives and Social Change Makers.” Despite living with ADD, 2nd degree heart block, Asthma and being a type II Diabetic, Connell has been a youth rights advocate for the past six years and has brought his beliefs of youth-involvement in government to both local and national levels, such as during his work as a President Barack Obama campaign fellow.

Another of the speakers Peter Takis is a 16-year-old high school student with a passion for business and success. At 15, Peter started his first business, a clothing company called Local Advancers.

Peter also writes for his popular blog, Ambitious That blog features inspiring posts for teen entrepreneurs.

He launched Nova Networking, which teaches small to mid size companies how to excel on Twitter, on which he has over 4,000 followers.

IRISH YOUTH MUSIC AWARDS The Irish Youth Music Awards is a national project delivered through local youth services, fostering creativity and teamwork amongst young people involved with bands in their local area. The music awards have operated in 20 different locations, North and South. Local selection nights are held for bands and the act to go forward to the final in Dublin is selected by the young people performing on the night.

Twenty teen bands from all around Ireland, North and South, gathered in the Liberty Hall Theatre on 15 May 2011, attempting to win the 4th annual Irish Youth Music Awards. The Awards are the culmination of a youthled process involving more than 200 bands in community settings, performing original material all around Ireland. The teen bands, selected by their peers, all came through local community-based youth organisations. There were two awards on the day, with Donegal-based band Jamaican Vampires taking home the newly-commissioned Paul Keogh young songwriter award and the

main Irish Youth Music Award went to Meathbased Outside the Box. “The IYMAs are the fastest growing contemporary music event in Ireland and this year h h which hi h saw ffurther growth w i l l allow for new activities such as workshops and improved mentoring for all the young people involved. Thousands of young people now have the opportunity to get access to the music industry and associated skills through this process and we hope to develop the awards further in 2012,” said Dermot Lambert, director of The Irish Youth Music Awards. “This project, however, shows the tremendous resource that young people can be. It demonstrates that given half a chance young people can come together and create something special. Not everyone can be the next U2 or The Script but first and foremost the Awards build teamwork and solidarity amongst the participants,” said Michael McLoughlin of Youth Work Ireland.








he Foróige Youth Citizenship Programme enables young people to make a positive difference to the world around them. It challenges the negative perception of young people that is often reported in the media. It empowers young people to be leaders within their local communities and among their friends. Citizenship is about more than legal rights and duties; it is about people working together for the common good. It is about creating a better society with greater caring, community spirit and social justice. Young people have a vital role to play in this process and this programme use easy activities and steps to show them how. For Further information:

aisce – the President’s Award is Ireland’s very own National Challenge Award, the country’s most prestigious and respected individual award programme, and a challenge from the President of Ireland, to you… the nation’s future.

What’s it all about? Gaisce – the President’s Award works on the basis of a personal challenge set by you. You will set the challenge and agree it with a President’s Award leader. You won’t be competing with other participants, as each challenge is completely individual… so the only person you’ll compete with is yourself. For Further Information:

INVENTING A FASHION FIRST AT 15 As a transition year student at Cross and Passion College in Kilcullen, she ran the idea by her mother who said Haughton should put it forward for the mini-company project at her school. Because there was such competition to enrol for the mini-company project, Haughton didn’t get to do that particular module, so she approached her entrepreneurial father. The products are Irish-made apart from the safety knife that comes in the box, with which customers cut out the shape of the red sole to suit the size of their shoe.


ifteen-year-old Tara Haughton from Kilcullen, Kildare, invented Rossi Solini, the Italian for ‘red sole,’ which has proved a huge hit with cash-strapped fashionistas. The idea came about as most people cannot afford Christian Louboutin shoes, which have distinctive red soles. Haughton officially launched Rosso Solini at Xposé Live, where the product sold out. Retailing at €15, each Rosso Solini pack contains red soles to attach to three different pairs of shoes.



A DIFFERENCE Ronan and Conor, who are members of the Irish Woodturners’ Guild, got the idea when they attended a craft fair in Antrim in 2009 and saw a demonstration in woodturning by Co. Down man Geoff Tulip.


he McGarvey brothers Ronan, 13, and Conor, 10, were so busy with business orders last Christmas at their handmade pen business that they had to move to a bigger premises in their back garden. The boys from Donegal, the owners of Donegal Pens, started the business almost two years ago and now take orders from across the world. They have increased their takings and moved to a bigger shed. About 95% of their orders arrive through and the dyamic duo are working on designs including fountain and mechanical pens.

Proud owners of Donegal Pens include Gerry Adams, Bertie Ahern and Daniel O’Donnell. The boys are always on the look-out for old bog oak in Donegal and also buy much of the wood for the pens on eBay. They create pens in many types of wood including Bog Oak, Yew, Ash, Elm, Beech, Wenge, Olive, Walnut and Spalted Beech.


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The newly-released Make it Happen: A Success Guide for Teenagers is aimed directly at teenagers, enabling them to achieve their goals.


This is the first Irishpublished book specifically targeted at teenagers in the personal development space. Through story, powerful questions, and self-reflection, this attractive and eye-catching book clearly shows how thoughts and beliefs influence actions, and therefore results.

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EN – A MAKE IT HAPP agers 16 ess Guide for Teen N – A Succ MAKE MAKE IT HAPPE


The Authors Padraig Lawlor is a licensed NLP practitioner, with qualifications from the Irish Institute of NLP.Having studied with some of the best personal development teachers in the world.

Philip O’Callaghan is co-founder of The Super Generation and is the managing director of examCRAFT, which supplies goods and services to Irish schools.

While this book is designed specifically for teenagers, it will also be valuable for parents and teachers who wish to get the best from young adults. Make it Happen: A Success Guide for Teenagers is young, vibrant and engaging. Developed around the concept of a TV programme, the book’s format allows young people to Channel Hop or Replay. Also, like many current TV programmes, the Reality Bites section should prove popular with young people. Make it Happen focuses on the SUPER Success System and shows young people how to implement it in their lives, to achieve what they want to be, do or have. This book will prove an invaluable guide for anyyoung person who wants to ‘Make It Happen’.

Order at:


The Super Generation 35 Finglas Business Park, Tolka Valley Road, Finglas, Dublin 11. T: 01 8081494 | F: 01 8362739 | W: | E:

MODULE 4 - Making A Difference.pdf  
MODULE 4 - Making A Difference.pdf  

MODULE 4 - Making A Difference.pdf