Limerick's Jack wins place on Transatlantic exchange scheme

Nick Rabbitts

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Nick Rabbitts

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nick@limerickleader.ie

Limerick's Jack wins place on Transatlantic exchange scheme

Jack O’Connor, 22, from Kilcolman, is one of this year’s cohort on the Washington-Ireland programme

A LIMERICK student has been accepted onto a prestigious Transatlantic programme encouraging leaders of the future.

Jack O’Connor, 22, from Kilcolman, is one of this year’s cohort on the Washington-Ireland programme due to take place in June and July.

Sadly, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the University of Limerick (UL) international business student will not be able to travel to the American capital to take part as all sessions this year are taking place virtually.

Despite this, he is looking forward to it, saying: “It’s a fantastic opportunity. It’s a programme I’ve had an interest in since I got into college. I’m fortunate enough to have friends who have gone through the process before and they’ve said the experience is a life-changing one.”

Jack said the programme is focused on developing the leadership skills of youngsters across the island of Ireland, and in normal times, it would include sessions in embassies and consulates Stateside, alongside a work placement in Washington DC.

Jack – who has previously represented Ireland as its youth representative at the United Nations – said he will bring an “insane curiousity” to the Washington-Ireland programme.

“I’m keen to start learning more,” he said, “You read about these things and learn the policy side of it. But I am very keen to be learning from others and actually learning to share the experiences and stories of other people.”

After college, he hopes to continue working on a start-up project he is currently carrying out with smallholder farmers in rural parts of Africa.