DIT Graduate receives Gaisce Award

DIT graduate in Property Economics, Mary Henry, was recently presented with a Silver Gaisce Award (President's Award) by the Lord Mayor of Dublin, Royston Brady at a ceremony in Trinity College.

Mary started to work towards the Silver Gaisce Award in September 2001 and completed it in May 2003. Responding to an advertisement for volunteers for DIT's "Homework Club" on Clubs and Societies Day, Mary started going to Homework Club every Wednesday from 4 - 5pm in her third and fourth years in college. "Myself and two other students, along with Cait Mulligan who was then chaplain in DIT Bolton Street, would assist a group of eight students. Cait suggested that I could use this work as the Community Involvement aspect of the Gaisce award, and it was with her encouragement that I took on the Gaisce Challenge!"

Other elements of the Gaisce challenge include an adventure project, acquiring a personal skill and undertaking physical activity. For the latter, Mary started going to the gym, which she had always regarded as a daunting prospect - "seeing Mr. Motivators working out beside me!"

For her personal skill, Mary learned Sign Language. She did a twenty-four week Sign Language class in Trinity College on Monday evenings, and by the end was surprised to find herself able to have long conversations with her teacher.

Finally, for her Adventure Project Mary went on "The Austrian Challenge", organised by the Beaumont Hospital Foundation. The first part of that challenge involved the difficult task of fund-raising through various means. Mary, and Gold Gaisce Participant Ray Higgins, raised €3000, and headed off to take part in the Challenge, which included a week of mountain climbing and hiking in the heart of Austria's Alpine region.

Having succeeded in her goals and challenges, Mary is now the worthy recipient of the President's Silver Gaisce Award. She enjoyed the experience so much she says she would be happy to act as a "President's Award Leader" if any student or member of staff in DIT would like to challenge themselves. "The Gaisce Award has allowed me to channel my energy to worthwhile things and tp meet a wide variety of people I may never have met otherwise" she said.

To find out more about Gaisce - the National Challenge Award from The President of Ireland to young people between fifteen and twenty five years of age the President's Award - click on www.gaisce.ie.

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