Leadership: University of Limerick student to travel from Garryowen to Washington

Jess Casey


Jess Casey



Naomi O’Mara with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone Picture: LYS

Naomi O’Mara with Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Katherine Zappone Picture: LYS

A UNIVERSITY of Limerick student and active volunteer with Limerick Youth Service is off to Washington to represent Ireland on the same prestigious internship Leo Varadkar completed as a young man.  

Naomi O’Mara, a student of History and Politics from Garryowen, has been selected as one of 30 students who will representing Ireland this year as part of the prestigious Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP). 

The 30 students must complete a 12-month program of service and leadership development, which in Naomi’s case starts this summer in the American capital.

“From June to August I will intern at the Irish Embassy in Washington, D.C and am really looking forward to it,” Ms O’Mara said. 

Selection for WIP 2018 was highly competitive with three hundred students applying for the opportunity. 

“A large part of the program focuses on leadership and I have plenty of experience of this from my time with Limerick Youth Service, particularly Lava Javas Youth Café where I was a member for five years and now volunteer there,” Ms O’Mara said. 

She joined Lava Javas at the age of 14 and during her five years became a member of the youth committee. During her time on the youth committee, she organised events that included Samhains Like Us, a major international youth culture programme. 

“For Samhains Like Us we organised five major events which culminated with us hosting a youth exchange with an Italian youth organisation in 2014,” Ms O’Mara said. 

Ms O’Mara in a youth exchange called Chew The Future in Tortona, Italy and recently was in Cape Town, South Africa as part of the Limerick Be Heard project. 

“Chew the Future focused on the food we eat and the effect it has on developing nations and the Limerick Be Heard project focused on encouraging the marginalised to express their views. 

You can follow Ms O’Mara’s summer journey via www.limerickyouthservice.com or at www.wiprogram.org.