Sarah Connor, Youth Volunteer from Clarin College Athenry (Formerly GairmScoil Mhuire) has been recognised in the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards for the dedication she has demonstrated in service to her community. Ms Sarah Connor, a fifth year student, has been recognized as one of 20 finalists in the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of the Community Awards, the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards post-primary students for outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield. Sarah set up a Transition Year Mini- Company 'Réalta le Chéile' with the objectives of promoting inclusion, raising awareness and fundraising for autism. Sarah worked alongside a student who has autism and felt a personal connection to the issue after helping her cousin who has both autism and Down Syndrome. Utilizing this experience, she felt she could work to benefit other people.
Her Principal Mr Ciaran Folan said ' Sarah is a remarkable young woman with many talents underpinned by a kindness and decency which inform everything she does'. During the many hectic moments of the project, its successes and challenges, Sarah remained calm, composed and courteous. Sarah focused on the positives, learned from setbacks, and kept momentum. In doing so she showed great maturity, resilience and a sense of humour which got her and her team through difficult times.
Twenty post -primary students, who hail from all corners of Ireland (Sarah is the only one from Galway), will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at a gala awards cermony on 10th March at Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa, Donegal with special guest speaker Niall Breslin, Irish musician and former Westmeath Gaelic footballer and Leinster Rugby player. At the gala, two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1000 for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May.