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Teens get €1,500 to progress positive projects

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By Michelle Crean

It was no easy task walking in to a Dragons' Den style set up - but by doing that Killarney teens received funds for their projects.

WINNING WITH WOMEN: Young Social Innovators from St Brigid's School took part in the YSI Dragons' Den on Thursday last. The Winning With Women group includes: Caoilfhionn Doyle Sophie Moran and Aoibhín Kelly. At the back are: Muireann O'Brien Gráinne Byrne Sorcha Blackwell and Sadhh Teahan.

On Thursday last two Transition Year Young Social Innovator (YSI) groups from St Brigid's Presentation pitched their ideas to a panel of representatives, including from Dublin City Council, Community Foundation Ireland and EirGrid, to enable them to access Social Impact Fund support to advance their projects.

The group ‘Tictock’ includes Ellie Greene and Anna Whyte who are the creative producers, Jennie O'Mahony and Lorna O'Sullivan research and development executives, Grace O'Meara and Seodhla Colleran coordinators of the group, Leah Griffin and Laura Flynn, financial controllers.

‘Tictock’ aims to raise awareness of the impacts of Ticks and Lymes Disease in the Killarney area. The students pitched their project to a team of five judges and were successfully awarded funding of €700 to help them resource signs for the National Park and Tick removal kits for local schools and shops. They also received links to Kerry County Council to help them proceed with these ideas.

Up next was 'Winning With Women', a YSI project aiming to tackle gender inequality in sports.
The team is made up of Caoilfhionn Doyle, Sophie Moran, Aoibhín Kelly, Muireann O'Brien, Gráinne Byrne, Sorcha Blackwell and Sadhh Teahan.

The team presented their idea for designing a pair of sports shorts specifically for women's bodies, a need which they identified based on their own experience of taking part in sports. They were awarded funding to design and create a prototype of sports shorts that are tailored to women's bodies, and to launch a campaign to bring attention to the issue of the need for sports clothing and equipment to be tailored to women doing sport. They will also receive mentoring in social media and marketing.

"The project pitch was very well received by the judges with the girls awarded €800 to fund their campaign and ideas," their teacher, Catherine O'Donoghue, said.

“The innovative ideas awarded Social Impact Fund support through our Social Innovation Den this year show how strongly engaged our young people are when it comes to the pressing and relevant issues impacting on people and society today," Roger Warnock, CEO of Young Social Innovators, said.

"We are delighted to help advance these inspirational youth-led projects further through the provision of direct support."

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Top 10 Essential tips for Leaving Cert Students in lead up to June 5

The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting […]

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The final weekend leading up to the Leaving Cert exams can be very tough, as you try to balance last minute revision with much needed rest after a long, exhausting year.

The natural anxiety felt by students is often heightened by the annual media hype around the state exams and it is really important that you do your best to manage that stress effectively, so that you are ready to perform to the best of your ability once the exams start. The following tips may help to keep you focused and a little calmer in the lead up to June 5.

1. Review, don’t cram – Focus on summary notes, flashcards, or mind maps. This reinforces what you’ve already studied. Prioritise areas where you feel less confident, but don’t try to learn new material.

2. Practise past papers – Review marking schemes and time allocation for each question you will need to answer on each paper. Practise a sample of questions against the clock. This will maximise your scoring potential.

3. Organise your materials – Check the exam timetable and highlight your own exams. Prepare the stationary that you need, gather pens, pencils, calculators, and so on. Pack your bag the night before to avoid last-minute stress.

4. Maintain a healthy balance – Aim for 8 hours of sleep each night. Proper rest is crucial for memory, concentration and stamina. Eat well, include proteins, healthy fats, and complex carbs in your meals to maintain energy levels. Drink plenty of water, hydration is essential.

5. Try to manage stress – Schedule short breaks during study sessions and do something enjoyable and relaxing, like a short walk, playing or listening to music. Get fresh air and some light exercise. Use relaxation techniques like breathing exercise, mindfulness and meditation.

6. Focus on a positive mindset – Focus on your strengths and remind yourself of your preparation. Concentrate on what you know and not on what you think you don’t! Try to avoid negative self-talk and steer clear of discussions that heighten anxiety, such as comparing how much you’ve studied with friends.

7. Plan your weekend – Create a realistic timetable for the weekend, balancing study sessions with breaks and relaxation and don’t overdo the study. You need plenty of energy for the exams.

8. Stay connected – Talk to friends and family, if you are feeling overwhelmed reach out and get support from loved ones. If it’s helpful, have a short, focused study session with friends to clarify doubts.

9. Keep things in perspective – The Leaving Cert is important but won’t define you and regardless of what happens you have several options open to you. Try to reframe the media hype as the whole country getting behind you, for what they know to be a tough time for you.

10. Get Set for exam day – Double-check the venue, seating arrangements, and required materials for the day of the exam. On the evening before the exam, do a light review of key concepts but avoid heavy studying. Ensure you know how to get to the exam venue and plan to arrive early (at least 30 mins on the first day). Decide what you’ll wear to avoid rushing in the morning and have your water and snacks ready to go.

Above all else, give the exams your best shot! Once they are over you have a lovely ‘study-free’ summer and bright future to look forward to. Go n-éirí libh ar fad, the very best of luck to each and every one of you!

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Disability toilets for Killarney Library

Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year. Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting. She said: […]

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Works to build new toilet facilities for people with disabilities should commence later this year.

Cllr Marie Moloney tabled a motion at a recent Kerry County Council meeting.
She said: “Application has been made for funding to the Department. As soon as the funding is approved, work will commence on the provision of Disabled Toilet Facilities.
“While ramps are installed for accessibility, it is unacceptable that any public building be without disabled toilet facilities in this day and age.
“I am aware of several people with a disability who constantly use the services of the Library and are very happy with the staff and the services that Killarney Library offers but are disappointed at the lack of disabled toilets.”
“I will be keeping the pressure on to have these facilities provided as soon as possible.”

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