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26 May 2022

In Pictures: Young innovators at Limerick school explore options to tackle social issues

OVER 300 schoolchildren in one county Limerick community took part in an event showcasing their means of contributing social good to local society.

The Young Social Innovators’ (YSI) event saw 322 students from John the Baptist Community School in Hospital present their ideas and actions to a panel of Limerick-based peers.

These representatives included team members from Limerick Youth Service, Ballyhoura Development CLG, Gaisce, and Young Social Innovators.

“Teachers responded with great delight and were very proud of the students for their teamwork, enthusiasm, imagination, creativity, cooperation and collaboration,” organiser Cáit Healy said.

The school, she added, is a previous Young Social Innovators of the Year Gold Award Winner and has the largest representation of YSI teams in the country this year.

A total of 22 teams of students across both Junior and Senior Cycle in the school, developed and implemented social innovation projects on a wide range of issues, at the May 5 morning event.

Eleven Junior teams (first years) and eleven senior teams (transition years) presented their socially innovative actions in a variety of formats during the event.

Students raised awareness, created educational resources and organised fundraising events both in their school community and in the wider Limerick community.

These centred around issues such as green diesel prices, bullying, sign language, healthy eating, mental health issues, littering, homelessness, racism, sports injuries, environmental issues, steroids, driving issues and many more, Cáit informed.

Ms Noreen Rafferty, Principal and Ms Rachel Hayes, Deputy Principal, expressed their absolute delight with their students for the compassion and sensitivity shown by the students for their chosen social issues, she added.

One of the projects presented included a senior project which addressed the sensitive issue of consent and has subsequently been shortlisted for the prestigious YSI Awards 2022.

The team is one of 35 shortlisted out of over 400 YSI projects nationwide this year, presenting to a panel of final judges.

“Best of luck to the team,” Cáit, YSI Local Leader for Kerry and Limerick concluded.

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