Some Good News: Rise Projects

In these unprecedented times, it’s hard not to feel disheartened by the current events and the impact they have had on our communities. For the Rise Leadership Programme, we’ve seen cancelled programmes which were set to go ahead before the end of this academic year and feel for the schools and students we’ve worked alongside now facing hard realities.

However, one of our core pillars with the Rise Leadership Programme is ‘hope’; we believe hope exists in every situation, in every community, no matter the circumstances. Rise has had a great year, completing two programmes with two schools – that means two amazing student-led projects happened, sure to leave an impact on the local community.

So here’s some good news, shedding light on the positive impact of our city’s young people – a source of hope to those who need it.

James Street, CBS

In September we began the programme with the TY students at James Street, CBS. Two project ideas won the vote with the class so we all agreed to go ahead with both. The projects were:

  1. Write a letter to the local sports centre asking that more access to the football pitches be granted to the local teens.
  2. Organise a litter pick-up of the Dublin 8 area, including local green spaces.

The students divvied up roles, with some drafting a letter and others offering to ring Dublin City Council for litter pick-up equipment. And in early January, these projects went ahead.

After completing the litter clean up, the students went on to write 18 letters to the Waste Management Area outlining the types of rubbish they discovered on their local streets and suggested ways to improve the level of litter within their neighbourhood.

The students were also given the opportunity to contact the sports centre directly and further their communication with the management there. Great job guys!

Mount Carmel Secondary School

In September, we also facilitated Rise with the TY students at Mount Carmel Secondary School. Quickly we realised a common issue the students felt needed to be focussed on was mental health awareness. Together the teens decided on a project idea which included:

  • Casual dress day with proceeds going towards the youth mental health awareness charity, Jigsaw.
  • Creating ‘wellness’ posters to put up around the school.
  • Bucket collection on O’Connell Street to raise money for Jigsaw.
  • Guest speaker to come and speak to the class or school about mental health.

The casual dress day went ahead, as did the beautifully crafted posters. Unfortunately, a guest speaker was not available to come, and due to Covid-19 government regulations, the bucket collection has been postponed.

However, as a Rise team we were very impressed by the students’ ambitious project idea and how dedicated the girls were to the programme. They were passionate about their vision and they worked hard to achieve all they had set out to do.

Through the Rise programme, we get to work with such incredible young people every week; teenagers who care about where they’ve grown up and want to see their communities thriving. It is the aim of the Rise programme to see communities flourishing through the positive contributions of young people and we know teenagers can truly bring hope and change when they’re given the permission to dream.

What are some ways that we can still encourage our young people during this time of social distancing and isolation?

Written by Ash Holmes