Athlone Community College student, Shauna Loftus, was one of just 14 teenagers from all over the island of Ireland to be conferred with a Rotary Youth Leadership award at the European Parliament’s offices in Dublin recently.
The competition, which is one of Rotary Ireland’s longest running youth projects, rewards young people with clear leadership potential based on their extra-curricular activities. It is run in conjunction with the EU offices in Dublin and Euroscola in Strasbourg.
Shauna received the award from Rotary Ireland District Governor David Murray and Patrick O’Riordan, PR Officer with the European Parliament. Shauna was sponsored by the Rotary Club of Athlone.
During transition year, Shauna competed in Junk Koutoure, SciFest and the BT Young Scientist Exhibition. She was also part of the school’s NASA committee which involved a live space call with astronaut Shannon Walker on the International Space Station which was followed by a TV interview on RTÉ’s Today Show with Maura and Daithi. She said taking part in the competition had been a fantastic experience.
“Through this trip, I have made so many amazing memories and met so many like-minded people that I will remain friends with for life. The trip itself was outstanding, a wonderful experience, even having the opportunity to present our opinions in front of an MEP,” she said.
Participants visited The Titanic Centre and City Hall in Belfast and went on tours of Dublin Castle and Trinity College in Dublin. The final part of the trip was a visit to the EU’s office, Europe House and a showcase event in The Freemasons Hall in Dublin where the students presented on a range of issues to a panel including Green MEP Ciaran Cuffe.
Some of the topics the students presented on included European Security, Climate Change and the Environment and Migration.