Donegal career coach Dearbhla Kelly has been honoured for her work helping young people chase their envisaged opportunities through college.

Dearbhla Kelly from Donegal Town has received the College Awareness Week award from Trinity College Dublin.

Dearbhla, an experienced career guidance counselor, was honoured for her work with Donegal County Council and Donegal County Library to encourage young people to go to college and show them they have no barriers to further their education.

“It is good to give a message that there are no limits to success. Education is a launchpad to imaginable possibilities,” Dearbhla commented.

Dearbhla with Rory Gallagher, Executive Librarian of Central Library Letterkenny, Kathleen Ann McGowan of Donegal Co Council and Kathleen Brennan of Trinity Access Programme.

Dearbhla Kelly is an Adult Guidance Counsellor with Donegal ETB and author of Career Coach: A Step by Step Guide to Help Your Teen Find Their Life’s Purpose. She uses coaching techniques to help people at all stages of their careers and education reach their full potential.

In College Awareness Week 2016 she was invited to host an event with Letterkenny Library. Dearbhla recalled her excitement for this opportunity in her acceptance speech in Dublin on Wednesday.

“I remember looking at the philosophy behind the event which encourages young people, regardless of background, regardless of income, regardless of physical abilities or of learning difficulties to consider going to College and it stirring my heart.

“I also recall thinking how important it is to get young people college ready and make that transition from secondary school where they are often spoon fed and hand held to an independent learning environment.

“I did think wouldn’t it be great to help young people become more aware of the importance of orientation and all the valuable services available to them?”

Dearbhla with Rory Gallagher, Executive Librarian of Central Library Letterkenny, Kathleen Ann McGowan of Donegal Co Council and Kathleen Brennan of Trinity Access Programme.

Dearbhla’s work with Donegal County Council and Letterkenny Library to design an evening for parents and senior cycle students was a great success, she recalled.

“At the end of the event, parents and students were able to make better course choices, they reduced their sense of overwhelm, they understood the value of transferable skills in the world of work.

“They knew how to make the most of College life in terms of creating a sense of belonging in clubs and societies and how to access help and support if they hit a bumpy patch.

“They became even more aware of back doors into College through Further Education or access courses as well as the Graduate route into courses such as Medicine.

Dearbhla was joined by Kathleen McGowan of Donegal Co Council, who also spoke at the event to guide students through the process of applying for student supports and availing of financial help for education. Dearbhla shared inspirational stories of role models who overcame adversity to study and succeed.

Dearbhla Kelly receiving her College Awareness Week Award

“We were delighted to collaborate with CAW, and the local schools to do our bit in Donegal to encourage young people to keep swimming up into the air of their envisaged opportunities,” Dearbhla said.

College Awareness Week is a national campaign which aims to promote the benefits of going to college, to help students of all ages to become college-ready and to showcase local role models.

Carndonagh Community School also received an award for their participation in this week, which was lead by Liam Harkin. 

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