DIT Students  honoured for volunteerism

27 April, 2004:  

Over 100 members of the DIT community gathered this week to celebrate the service and volunteerism of DIT students working with their peers and with the wider community.

Each year DIT's very extensive Community Links Programme is strongly supported by the enthusiasm of students who volunteer their time and skills. During the 2003 -2004 academic year 80 student volunteers worked on five key Community Links projects.  At a reception in their honour, the President of DIT,  Professor Brian Norton acknowledged their enormous contribution and presented each of the students with a Certificate of Achievement.

Addressing the volunteers Professor Norton said; 'Making a commitment to participate in a Community Links Project is not easy, especially given the number of other calls you have on your time including study, work and social activities. We are here this evening to recognise and celebrate you and your work as volunteers.  Each of you has contributed to society in a positive and creative way and the Institute is extremely proud of you!' 

DIT's "Community Links Programme" was established in 1997 and, under the direction of Dr. Tommy Cooke, has developed into a very significant multi-stranded programme, targeting educational disadvantage at primary, secondary, tertiary and community levels. A team of fourteen staff work - with a wide range of social and industry partners - on projects ranging from  the 'Digital Community', which provides supported computer access rooms in Dublin City Council flat complexes, to 'Pathways through Education'  which is a classroom-based project, building on students motivation and self- esteem. 

The ceremony this week honored students for their contribution to five key projects in particular:

  • DIT Websites for Schools Programme: Through this project DIT Computer Science students volunteer to give of their time to liaise directly with schools in the development of their websites. To date, twenty-six schools have their own websites and have received follow-up training
  • Peer mentoring Programme:  2nd and 3rd year students help to support students entering college via the 'Access' programme during their first few months in college. The first-term experience is vital in terms of whether any student feels they can cope with the academic and other pressures of third-level education and this programme ensures that first-year Access students have the benefit of friendly reassurance and practical advice to help them rough.
  • Educational Awareness Programme: DIT student volunteers visit schools in areas where there is low participation in higher education, and facilitate class discussions with second-level students about third-level education.
  • Supervised Study Programme:  DIT students with expertise in a particular subject area volunteer to provide tuition on a one-to-one basis to
    inner city secondary school students.
  • Shadowing Days:  5th Year students from secondary schools are invited to spend a day in DIT where they accompany a DIT student and xperience third-level student life at first-hand.

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