Balbriggan students honoured by Prosper Fingal for making a difference

June 7, 2019 0

Students at two Balbriggan schools were among those recently honoured by disability organisation Prosper Fingal for their commitment to social justice, equality and inclusion. The Prosper Fingal Making a Difference Awards were established by Prosper Fingal last year as part of the organisations 40th anniversary celebrations. Prosper Fingal, which provides services and supports to approximately 300 adults with an intellectual disability across north county Dublin, also has student ambassadors in six Fingal schools who inform peers about its work.

At Ardgillan College, Balbriggan, the Prosper Fingal Making a Difference Award winners were Keelin Tapley, Emily Cathcart, Belbin Benny and Stefan Simonovic. They set up an initiative named Headstrong to help combat stigma surrounding mental health. They created their own Instagram page and worked to promote the message of positive mental health openness for all.

Speaking on behalf of the winning group, Stefan said when we realised we actually had made a difference, it was just overwhelming. I think it also gave encouragement to students for next year, to also try and make a difference as well. It is important for people to know it is okay to not be okay and to ask for help if they need it, that everyone is here to listen.

The joint winners at Loreto Secondary School,Balbriggan were students Tegra Kiaku Alphonsine and Clodagh Finnegan. Both were voted by their peers for traits such as kindness and friendliness and for how they supported other students within the school community.

Tegra said she wasn’t expecting the award and was delighted to be accorded such an honour by her peer group. Tegra is interested in working in psychology in the future.

Students at the other participating schools -St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rush; Fingal Community College, Swords; and Skerries Community College were also recognised.

Portmarnock Community School is also participating in the Making a Difference Awards and will hold its awards ceremony later in the year.

Pat Reen, CEO of the Prosper Group, which includes Prosper Fingal and Prosper Meath, commented: The Prosper Fingal Making a Difference Awards celebrate the generosity and spirit of young people. Those values align with the Prosper organisation and its work with people with disabilities.