Pupils at a County Derry school have been honoured for their commitment to others.
The Pramerica Spirit of Community awards has highlighted the endeavours of Loreto College students.
A special Assembly was held in the College Chapel to celebrate last Tuesday.
Four candidates from Loreto College applied this year for the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards, and all four received certificates of merit recognising their outstanding work.
Mary Kate McCloskey, a Year 10 student at Loreto College, takes part every year in the HOPE summer camp based in the Limavady parish.
This is a week of activities based around faith, fun and friendship.
She also helps her sister by teaching children aged 3 – 14 years to dance, boosting their confidence and self-esteem.
Sean Faulkner, also in Year 10, is a St. John Ambulance cadet. As a volunteer, he has taught others the life-saving skill of CPR.
He is also a committed gaelic football and hurling player in his local club of Ballerin.
Neeve Campbell, a Year 12 student, was nominated for this award for her voluntary work at the Riding School for the Disabled in Coleraine.
A lot of time
She dedicates a lot of time to teaching others the skills she had taught herself, and is a valued member of the RDA.
Loreto College’s fourth applicant, Keira Culleton, is another Year 10 student.
Keira volunteers with cross community programme SPARK and is a key member of this initiative, which is focused on celebrating people’s similarities rather than the differences between various groups in the community.
Keira takes part in activities each week which can include litter picking, visiting residents in local care homes, interacting with local businesses and cleaning neglected graves.
Diagnosed with scoliosis in 2018, Keira wears a back brace, but she does not let this stop her doing the things she loves.
Keira has presented to her class and camogie team to help her friends and teammates understand about what scoliosis is and why she needs to wear the brace.
Keen to show her positive side and inspire others, Keira attends the Michaela Foundation Camps each year which promotes and encourages positive values to live life to the full and embrace opportunities to succeed in all that we do.
Keira also visits a local care home for the elderly and is heavily involved with her local church by helping her dad, who is the sacristan.
Keira Culleton has been selected as one of Pramerica’s top twenty finalists of exceptional young people from across Ireland; one of the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers, working to make a positive impact on her local community.
Keira will have the opportunity to travel with her family to the to the Titanic Quarter, Belfast on March 31 where she will receive €500 and a silver medallion to recognise her efforts.
At this gala event, two of the twenty finalists will be named as the All Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1,000, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expenses paid trip to the United States to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
Keira’s family was welcomed to the Assembly, along with Ciara from the Michaela Foundation, Mr Rafferty, principal of St Patrick’s and St Joseph’s Primary school, Garvagh and Ms Rosemary Russell - a representative from the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
All four students were presented with their Pramerica Certificates by Ms Rosemary Russell.
Ms Russell praised all four students for their dedicated service for the benefit of others, paying particular tribute to Keira, praising how she had not allowed personal, medical obstacles to prevent her from these endeavours.
Michael James, Principal of Loreto College, paid tribute to all four students for their selfless work on behalf of their local community, wishing Keira well for the All Ireland ceremony at the end of the month.
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