10 February 2010 - 07:43
4th ANNUAL PRAMERICA SPIRIT OF COMMUNITY AWARDS
Susie McGagh, a sixth year student at Dunmore CommunitySchool, was named one of 20 finalists today in the annual Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
The awards programme, now in its fourth year, honours young people on the island of Ireland for outstanding acts of volunteerism. The programme is organised by Pramerica Systems Ireland Limited in partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI).
Front Left to Right: Gay McManus, Principal Dunmore CS, Tom McHugh, Mayor of County Galway, Susie McGagh & Henry McGarvey, Managing Director of Pramerica
Susie, 18, of Dunmore, Co. Galway was nominated for the award by her principal Gay McManus, and will receive a Certificate of Achievement from a representative of The Pramerica Spirit of Community programme later this month.
On the 24th of March, Susie and the 19 other finalists will be honoured at a gala awards dinner in Cork and will receive €500 and an engraved silver medallion, presented by Tyrone Senior Football Manager Mickey Harte. In addition, two of the finalists will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year at the awards dinner and will receive €1,000 for a charity they select, a gold medallion and an all expenses paid trip to the United States in May to take part in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
Susie was selected for the honour because of her voluntary activities as a co-leader of a local youth group and also as a volunteer in Romania. Her work in the youth group has had a very positive impact on her peers and her community.
The youth group provides a safe place for young people to reach out for help and to talk through problems.
In order to travel to Romania, Susie had to raise money, so she set about organising a series of events. She used the money raised to bring a group of 50 children from orphanages and extremely poor families to the countryside for the holiday celebration of a lifetime.
“Young people as inspiring as Susie contribute greatly to our society,” said Pramerica Systems Ireland Managing Director Henry McGarvey. “ These awards are designed to showcase the tremendous work undertaken behind the shadows by young volunteers. We are inspired by the dedication and commitment demonstrated by Susie and the 19 other finalists. Pramerica is a proud partner in this programme of recognition for such inspiring and exemplary young people.”
The 20 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards Finalists were selected from second-level students nominated by their school principals last November. The criteria on which they were evaluated included motivation, service, impact, sustainability, commitment and personal challenge.
The All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year will be chosen by a selection committee honorary chaired by Nobel laureate John Hume. Also serving on the selection committee are Mary Davis, EurAsia Special Olympics; Yvonne McKenna, Volunteer Centres Ireland; Ciaran McCormack, NAPD; Sally McKee, GTCNI and Henry McGarvey, Managing Director of Pramerica.
NAPD President, Tim Geraghty says, "NAPD are once again delighted to be involved with the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards. As teachers we are continually overwhelmed by the level of voluntary work undertaken by our students both at school and in their communities. Therefore, to have a national awards programme dedicated to youth volunteerism is wonderful. The standard of applications this year has been phenomenal and this year's finalists have demonstrated massive ability, tenacity and sheer determination to make a difference. They are truly shining lights giving inspiration to their peers and we salute them."
Sally McKee is Chairperson of GTCNI. “This is my fourth year involved in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards and I am so enthused year after year with the level of volunteerism amongst our young people. These awards not only celebrate the best of young people, they also recognise the huge amount of good in our communities across the island of Ireland. I congratulate all involved and look forward to meeting our finalists.”