A selfless student from Co Derry has been recognised as one of 20 exceptional young people from across Ireland.
Keira Culleton, a third year student at Loeto College, Coleraine, has been named an outstanding youth volunteer by Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
Despite being diagnosed with Scoliosis in 2018, which requires her to wear a back brace, Keira dedicates her spare time to help others throughout the community.
At present she volunteers with cross community programme SPARK and is a key member of this initiative which focused on celebrating people’s similarities rather than the differences between various groups in the community.
She also 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.
Kiera also tried to educate others about her health problems, and has presented to her class and camogie team about her condition.
Keen to show her positive side and inspire others, Kiera 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.
The teenager 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.
The top 20 local students were revealed as Pramerica announced its finalists for the 2020 Spirit of Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind that rewards post-primary students for their exemplary acts of volunteerism.
Passionate about a range of topics including homelessness, mental health, disabled rights, climate change, animal cruelty plus many more, the 20 finalists will gather for this year’s awards which will take place at Titanic, Belfast on Tuesday, March 31.
Each finalist will receive an impressive €500 to donate to their preferred charity and are in the running to win a once in a lifetime trip across the globe to Washington, D.C.
The programme, which is run in partnership with the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD) and the General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), is one of Ireland’s largest youth recognition programmes, this year’s awards received a remarkable 250 applications from across Ireland.
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