As we (Ashleigh and Anne) walk in to Mount Carmel Secondary School not far from O’Connell Street in Dublin, we are feel at home. The teachers passing by say hello, we chat about our summers and wave to the principal as we sit in the staff room. We’re grateful and excited to be back in the school for another year of our RISE Programme.
As we head from one Transition Year class to the next, we meet Chloe and Sarah in the hallway. They both took part in both our Leadership and Mentoring Programmes last year and their faces light up when they see us. In a brief conversation they are quick to update us on the goals they made in last year’s mentoring sessions. Chloe has joined a local basketball team and Sarah has started writing a novel, a goal she has been working towards for a long time. It is amazing to see the two of them so excited about getting more involved in their communities whether through sport or extra academics.
We let them get on to class and then also run into Hannah who was one of our first mentees when we piloted the programme two years ago. She is now a sixth year and settling into her final year of school well.
It’s these conversations, smiles, and enthusiasm that make us see what a difference both the Leadership and Mentoring Programmes makes in the lives of Dublin teenagers. It’s these interactions that keep us going with our RISE programmes and why we can’t wait to share with you more stories of change when we finish this current programme before Christmas