Galway students awarded Gaisce Gold Medal

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Eight students at NUI Galway were among a special group of inspirational young people presented with the Gaisce Gold Award by President Michael D. Higgins for their civic engagement and personal development.

The students, Catherine Mohan, Ciara McDaid, Erin Shimizu, Jason Sherlock, Kirsty Moran, Odhran Wheelan, Sinéad Reidy, and Orla Masterson, have volunteered hundreds of hours with a variety of non-profit organisations.

These including Ability West, SVP, Barretstown Childrens Camps, Tidy Towns and Childline, as well as undertaking student leadership roles working towards inclusion and diversity.

Gaisce – the President’s Award aims to foster and develop the potential of young people aged 14 to 25.

It allows them to explore their natural skills and gain confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical and community challenges.

“Gaisce – The President’s Award is unique in the sense that it encourages young people to set their own personal development goals within a framework that allows them to achieve them and contribute to their communities in their own way,” said the CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna.

“Every single day I am inspired by the courage, the energy and the commitment of young people doing their Gaisce Award, and I am so thrilled we are getting to celebrate the breadth of their achievements, from tackling global challenges like biodiversity to local supports for neighbours in need, young people are consistently push themselves for others.”

Lorraine Tansey, NUI Galway’s President’s Award Leader, said that throughout the pandemic, students committed to undertaking the Gaisce award challenge in their communities volunteering and building their mental and physical health skills.

“We are inspired by the commitment students made and look forward to building on their leadership offering students continued civic learning opportunities with our university community partners,” she said.