Donegal student Aoife Gillespie has been named as one of Ireland’s Top Youth Volunteers in the 2017 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
Aoife Gillespie has been chosen for her outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution she makes in her local community.
Aoife is a sixth year student at St Columba’s College, Stranorlar, who has been volunteering her entire life and is motivated when she sees the difference it can bring to the lives of others.
Aoife is the deputy mayor of the Donegal Youth Council (DYC)and has worked with numerous organisations including the Health Service Executive (HSE) and the Road Safety Authority (RSA) to highlight mental health issues, internet safety and road safety.
Having personally witnessed the tragic impact of cyber bullying and road traffic accidents in her local area, Aoife used the impact that these events had on her to raise awareness of these issues among students, politicians and other organisations nationally.
Through her work with DYC, Aoife also worked with their Shake Up Sports initiative to encourage young people who have dropped out of sports to try new sporting activities.
She has also been involved with Cycle Against Suicide and Donegal Road Safety.
“Aoife has contributed in a very positive way to life at St Columba’s,” says Guidance Counsellor Georgina White. “Her volunteering shows a selfless willingness to contribute for the overall good of other students and the school in general. Aoife enjoys helping others and she is a caring person by nature.”
Two overall winners will be announced at a gala awards ceremony in March 2017. These All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year will be awarded €1,000 each for their chosen charity and a trip to Washington, D.C. for the annual international Prudential Spirit of Community Awards celebration.
The 20 finalists will all be awarded €500 for their charities at the ceremony.