Hayleigh Nugent with the Fergal Quinn Award. Also pictured are Rachel Clifford, Claire King, James Connery, Noreen Murphy, Ian MacNamara, Sarah Clohessy and Graham Quantrell
HAYLEIGH Nugent, a student from Garryowen who achieved the top marks in Ireland in this year’s Leaving Cert Applied (LCA) was presented with the Fergal Quinn Award at the Leaving Cert Applied National Conference in Athlone recently.
Hayleigh, who got 98% in the overall grade, was joined at the LCA National Conference by her family and staff from Limerick Youth Service (LYS) where she studied.
Hayleigh explained what led her to the LCA course.
“I left school in Fifth Year as I just didn’t feel it was for me at the time,” said Hayleigh.
“However, when I’d go for job interviews I would always be asked did I have my Leaving Cert and I started to feel I was missing out on something,” she added.
After doing some research on the educational opportunities available to her, Hayleigh enrolled with LYS’ former Abbey Youth Local Training Initiative in 2015 and from there, her pathway led to the LCA programme at LYS where she studied a variety of subjects, citing Maths and IT as her two favourites. Delivered over a two-year cycle, the LCA focuses on the talents of each individual student and helps them apply what they learn in the real world.
Hayleigh was full of praise for the LCA programme saying that “more young people should be made aware of it (LCA) as a course option after their Junior Cert.”
“I loved my time with LYS. The staff were very supportive and always encouraged us whether in class or during our placements,” she said.
Hayleigh is currently studying Child Care in Central College Limerick and plans to study for a BA in Early Childhood Care & Education.
“My dream is to become a teacher and with the LCA programme I’ve just chosen a different way of getting there,” said Hayleigh.