Eight secondary schools from Laois and beyond gained valuable knowledge about leadershop, at a special event in Portlaoise last week.
Portlaoise College staged the first Annual Leadership Congress for secondary school students of the Midlands and North Tipperary last Wednesday April 5.
Some 250 students showcased 15 leadership initiatives from YSI, Student Councils, Cycle against Suicide to their Prefect system.
The schools: were St Marys CBS, Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise, Borriskane Community School, St Fergals Rathdowney, Heywood Community School, Mountrath Community School, Colaiste Naomh Cormac and our of course Portlaoise College. The School Bank, Student Council and Prefects did a fantastic job in representing Portlaoise College.
The vision behind the congress came about as teachers at the school noticed the enormous leadership initiatives undertaken by students at Portlaoise College such as the Prefects, Meitheal Leaders, Student Council, YSI and the School bank.
They felt these initiatives were not getting the forum or acknowledgement deserved so they decided to organise the Leadership Congress here at Portlaoise College to recognise students’ leadership skills, encompassing all activities students are engaged in..
More young people are being given leadership opportunities within the school community, whether this be as prefects, mentors, student council members or through programmes such as big brother – big sister, enterprise, social or environmental leadership programmes within schools.
Youth leadership has a positive effect on the school, while promoting life skills learning through working as a team, setting goals, cooperating with other students, taking responsibility as acting as role models to other students.
Three time All-Star Tipperary hurler, Seamus Callanan and Adam Harris the well-known advocate of Audism addressed the event.
They spoke about their personal leadership journeys, their challenges and their successes.