Presentation student Grace Ferrick scoops award for giving back to the community
Presentation student Grace Ferrick was honoured for her sense of community spirit as she was named one of the finalists in the Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards.
The sixth year student from Curracloe won recognition for her work as a volunteer with both the local Special Olympics club and her school's mental health awareness team. Speaking in light of the win, Grace's teacher Mary Dooley sang her praises.
'Grace is a unique young lady, one with a giving spirit who will no doubt endeavour to influence and improve the lives of others for years post her graduation in May 2016,' she said. 'We will miss Grace's zeal and light but like Nanno Nagle, our foundress, she will continue to light the flame in others.'
Mental health is an area that Grace feels particularly passionate about. She helped to co-found the school's mental health team in 2014 and has since become a student ambassador for Cycle Against Suicide. Her role requires her to organise events in the school which help to make it a more positive place.
Grace also has a huge interest in sport. Through her work with the local Special Olympics club, she has helped many athletes to achieve their goals, an experience she describes as 'amazing'.
The Pramerica awards is the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards students for volunteering. Grace is one of 20 secondary school students who will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion at a ceremony in Donegal on March 10. At the gala, two of the 20 students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1,000 for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.