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Students raise awareness about academic stress

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By Michelle Crean

A group of local students have launched a new project to raise awareness about academic stress not only in their school, but nationally.

Young Social Innovators (YSI) from Killarney Community College plan to explore the struggle several students go through everyday either through exams or pressure from homework through 'Dedicated to Educated'.

Students taking part in the project are Tamika Heaphy, Oliwia Ochnik, Sophie Jacobi, Ona Moreno Font, Blanca Beltran Juan, Irene Rueda Mosserat, Angelina Kendel, Rabea Flugel, Chloe Herlihy and Dominic Czuluk.

"It is about raising awareness about academic pressure and stress for students as our goal is to raise awareness of the struggle several students go through everyday whether it would be over an exam or just pressure from homework," Chloe Herlihy said.

"A goal we are aiming for is that people will be able to understand academic stress does not just come from school, it equally comes from your surroundings and environment. From working with our guidance counsellor and interviews with teachers, we found that academic stress can affect one's mental health and how they see school. From our own studies carried out we decided to survey students and asked questions like “do you know what academic pressure is?”. The results from the whole school was that 72% of students knew what academic pressure was."

She explained that it was clear that the Junior years did not understand what academic pressure was.

"After handing out our surveys and calculating the results we came to find that just over 23% of students ignore their academic stress and do not try to ease their stress or do not know how. During our interviews with teachers, we noticed a similarity all the teachers talked about noticing the stressed students overexerting themselves, not being motivated to go to class and being not motivated to do homework. We want to change this for all students in the county and country."

Academic pressure can come from many influences, such as pressure from parents, but also from oneself, because one may compare oneself too much with others and stress all the time to be like others.

"We are working with our guidance counsellor to create a presentation for students on tips and tools on how to deal with stress from study. Once this is completed, we will be going class to class showing this PowerPoint. We also aim to work with and fundraise for Southwest Counselling."

Lorraine Crowley, TY Coordinator and YSI Guide, said these Young Social Innovators have shown such passion to raise awareness and create change when it comes to academic pressure.

"They really want to educate students on how they can limit their stress while studying at the same time.”

For more information email dedicatedtoeducated@gmail.com, Instagram: dedicatedtoeducated, TikTok: dedicatedtoeducated, YouTube: dedicated to educated, website: Dedicatedtoeducated.boxmode.io, or Pinterest: dedicated to educated.

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Top awards for innovative students

By Michelle Crean Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards. The five […]

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By Michelle Crean

Killarney students proved that their projects can make a positive impact after being honoured at the Young Social Innovators of the Year Ireland (YSI) Awards.

The five members of ‘Operation Red’ in St Brigid’s Secondary School were celebrating this week after receiving a national Bronze Award for their project which is raising awareness about the lack of knowledge surrounding menstrual disorders. Their goal is to encourage open discussion on these issues, so no woman ever feels alone. The team will receive a prize bursary of €750, which can be put towards developing their idea and increasing the impact of their innovation.

Young Social Innovators is a non-profit organisation that believes in the power of youth. Its vision is to empower, equip and inspire young people to change the world for good. The girls’ project was one of 34 shortlisted from over 400 YSI groups around Ireland.

“As part of our project we’re in the process of developing resources for the SPHE classes in our school,” Transition Year student Anna Cashman told the Killarney Advertiser.

“We’ll try it here as a pilot project and branch out to other schools.”

She added that plans so far include educating students by putting an information booklet together using HSE and NHS advice.

“It’s important to have the right information as it’s a very under researched issue. We have had a positive response to it.”

Cait Fitzgerald Healy from YSI arrived to the school as a surprise to the group and presented the girls with their trophy towards the end of the online ceremony. There was huge excitement all round! Teacher and mentor Catherine O’Donoghue also received the ‘Let them Shine’ award for her involvement with YSI over the last five years.

MAKE OUR WORLD SAFER AWARD

Picking up the ‘Make Our World Safer Award’, a team from St Brendan’s College was recognised for its ‘One Punch Can Kill’ project, which aims to combat toxic masculinity and raise awareness amongst young men of the seriousness of ‘one punch attacks’.

When researching the issue, the team found that many perpetrators rarely reoffend and the percentage of male-on-male violence in society is extremely high. The group examined the route cause of the issue, which stems from a variety of factors, and wanted to raise awareness that spontaneous and random ‘one punch attacks’ can have serious and life-changing consequences.

Amongst its many actions, the team embarked on media outreach, designed and delivered student workshops, created a poster campaign, held an Anti Violence Week and is currently working on a children’s book in an effort to promote the important message that ‘One Punch Can Kill’.

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Pres footballers are in seventh heaven

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The St Brigid’s Presentation Second Year footballers were crowned County Junior B champions on Friday last following a superb seven-goal victory over Mercy Mounthawk Tralee in the Ballymac sunshine.

The girls hit the ground running, bagging two quick goals from the boots of Lily O’Shaughnessy and Niamh Cantillon.

The Pres defence was solid and dogged throughout and managed to keep Mounthawk from breaching their goal for the duration. Abby Cronin scored three goals and a point to torment the oppostion and Niamh Cantillon scored a second goal plus a point to keep the Killarney school well in front.

Further scores from Muireann Healy and a final goal from Lara O’Neill gave us a final score of 7-4 to 0-11.

It was an excellent performance from the entire team, including the substitutes who all played their part. Captain Eve Culhane proudly accepted the cup on behalf of the team, and St Brigid’s, at the end of the game and joyous celebrations followed.

Congratulations to all the players and to their trainers: Mr Counihan, Ms Healy and Ms Brosnan.

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