Over 100 students from an inner city Dublin school today were presented with certificates for their work serving their community.

The students from Larkin Community College off Cathal Brugha Street were recognised for their work over the past 12 months in helping the homeless, elderly people in their locality and their work for Special Olympics Ireland.

Minister for Children and Youth Affairs Dr. James Reilly TD along with Mr. Stuart Dwyer, Chargé d’Affaires at the U.S. Embassy in Dublin, and Ms. Jacinta Stewart, Chief Executive Officer of City of Dublin Education and Training Board, were present to mark the work carried out by the students under the auspices of Localise, an organisation which focuses on fostering “give back” culture among the young.

Present also were Larkin Community College teachers, students’ parents and representatives from organisations with which the students were directly involved.

The Minister for Children and Youth Affairs, Dr Reilly Said: “It is  an honour to be present to witness and celebrate the great work of the school in fostering community involvement and give back to society. These youngsters are our future and we can take great heart in their willingness to help those in need.”

Larkin Principal Aoife Kelly Gibson said: “Many depend on others just to get through life. Giving back is a major part of the world and it is all about making a difference. There is something to be gained from every experience. Congratulations to you all.”

“This project was great, it helped me integrate into my class and my new community and it forced me to do things I would not dare to do before,” Antanas Luobikis, student, Larkin Community College.

“If I had my way I’d have Localise in every school, it enriches the lives of the students, their communities and it allows them to make a real difference and learn from it all” Máire O’Higgins, Larkin Community School teacher..

“The eyes of the elderly people lit up when the young students came into the centre. It was great to see the boys and girls working with the old people and transforming our centre” Bernie Pierce, Elderly day care centre Manager.

The Localise programme has proved to be a practical way for teenagers to take an active role in the service of their community while learning key planning and organisational skills. Within any given  year, there is an average of 20 schools, 700 students engaged in 33 Localise schools programmes, with more than 30 nationalities involved in direct community service being delivered to 52 charities and caring organisation nationwide.

Localise in 2013, through its schools and community group programmes, engaged over 1,070 youth volunteers in over 80,000 volunteering hours for 240 community service projects resulting in over €1.76 Million worth of community service work.  With more than 40 years experience in Youth community service work and volunteerism, Localise pprogrammes enable young people to care in the community in the service of others – developing proactive citizens and community leaders of the future.

Localise has been in partnership with Larkin Community College since 2007; in that time 650 students from more than 29 nationalities have undertaken 25 caring in the community projects involving 10,000 volunteer hours and €250,000 of community service work .

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