St. Mary’s Secondary School Edenderry nominated for Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards 2016

Local Co. Offaly secondary school, St Mary’s of Edenderry have been selected as finalists for this year’s Making Communities Better Award for the Young Social Innovators (YSI) of the year.

A record breaking 454 projects and 6,618 students from 228 schools entered the YSI award in 2016. Of these, 61 youth led social innovation projects have been shortlisted from 51 schools and youth organisations throughout Ireland. These will present to YSI Panels and compete for the title Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 and other prestigious awards at the YSI Annual on Tuesday May 10th in the Citywest Hotel, Conference and Event Centre, Dublin.

St Mary’s will battle it out in the Making Communities Better catagory, which is being sponsored by the Construction Industry Federation (CIF). Their project ‘Are We Including?’ gives an in depth look at how the lack of understanding  in the community of different disabilities is a barrier to the inclusion of students with Special needs in schools and in the wider community.

Tom Parlon, Director General of the CIF stated: “We are delighted to be involved in such a worthwhile partnership.  The youths involved in the YSI programme are the future leaders of Ireland.  They are already trying to change the world they live in and to shape it into a positive place.  Some of the YSI presentations we’ve seen already have made a real impact on the lives of people in their communities, particularly the projects in relation to the homelessness crisis, the immigration crisis, and road safety.  I’m really looking forward to hearing more of these stories at the Young Social Innovators Awards and Showcase on May 10th and witnessing the passion, drive and enthusiasm of the students taking part.”

The Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016 Awards and Showcase, which is sponsored by Ulster Bank, will bring together 5,000 young innovators who are actively working to bring about positive social change in Ireland. It is the biggest celebration of social innovation in Ireland and one of the largest youth events in the country. Young Social Innovators (YSI) challenges young people to work within their communities to identify areas of social need and to come up with and implement solutions.The Showcase gives them the opportunity to exhibit their ideas and innovations through presentations, posters and exhibition stands. There is a vast amount of indoor and outdoor educational, social and interactive activities and events for the students to get involved in over the course of the day.

Other projects shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2016 are related to serious social challenges such as cancer awareness, domestic violence amongst men, human trafficking, sexism, inequality, energy conservation, older people, farm and internet safety, rural crime, education for life, deforestation, carbon monoxide, homelessness, child poverty.

The overall title award: “Young Social Innovators of the Year 2016”, will be presented to the team which has developed a really innovative response to a social issue and who also show that they have the passion and potential to continue to have a significant impact. €1,500 will be given towards developing their innovation.

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