At the height of Covid in 2020-2021, over 40,000 young people aged 14-25 answered the President’s call to pursue a Gaisce Award, supported by over 1,200 President’s Award Leaders in 750 organisations Nationwide. The Gaisce Gold Award is the nation’s highest recognition of a young person’s initiative, achievement, and voluntary contribution to society. In order to complete a Gold Gaisce Award, each of the recipients set and achieved their own goals across challenge areas that include personal skill, physical activity, community involvement, team adventure journey and a residential project.
Gold Award recipient Kirsty Moran, who currently works in the defence forces and was commended for her participation in adventure sports, said, ‘Completing the challenges to achieve the Gaisce Gold Award has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life, and to be commended by the President of Ireland for achieving this is a real honour. The freedom to set my own goals in areas that already excite me meant I could explore my own interests with the help of the president awards leaders. I’d love to stay involved with Gaisce and help others develop their own goals and aim towards a Gaisce Gold Award in the years to come.’
Since its inception, Gaisce has been committed to ensuring the accessibility of the Award, and to ensuring every young person can see themselves in the Award. Gaisce celebrates the innate talents and abilities of all young people in Ireland, regardless of their circumstances. The Gaisce Awards, founded in 1985, recognise young people’s commitment to personal development and community action. At the heart of Gaisce is a wide network of trained adult mentors, the President’s Award Leaders (or PALs) many of them Gaisce Awardees themselves. PALs are instrumental in providing mentorship to young people across a wide variety of organisations including community, education, sport, disability and justice.
CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna said, ‘Gaisce – The President’s Award is unique in the sense that it encourages young people to set their own personal development goals within a framework that allows them to achieve them and contribute to their communities in their own way. Every single day, I am inspired by the courage, the energy and the commitment of young people doing their Gaisce Award, and I am so thrilled we are getting to celebrate the breath of their achievements, from tackling global challenges like biodiversity to local supports for neighbours in need, young people are consistently push themselves for others. With over 250,000 Awards achieved since 1985, there is an enormous community of like-minded awardees who we encourage to continue their involvement with Gaisce and inspire generations to come.’
For further information on Gaisce – The President’s Award, please visit www.gaisce.ie.
Pic: Maxwells Dublin