AWARD winners from across Carlow and Kilkenny were honoured last week at the inaugural Carlow/Kilkenny Garda Youth Awards.
More than 150 guests sat down to a gala dinner at Hotel Kilkenny to celebrate and honour the achievements of young people across the two counties.
Ten awards were presented to outstanding young individuals who by their presence make their community a better place to live or have shown determination in their own lives.
The award winners are all aged between 13 and 21 and they were picked from a pool of 70 nominees.
Ismail Mohammed, 21, won the Individual Award. Ismail and his family were resettled in Carlow under the terms of a United Nations High Commissioner Refugee (UN HCR) mission.
At 11-years-old, Ismail had no English, had never experienced formal education or the norms of living in a settled community. Ismail now attends the Institute of Education in Carlow studying Engineering Aircraft systems.
He is involved with Carlow Regional Youth Services and was instrumental in revitalising cricket in Carlow and has been involved in the very successful team representing the Dolmen County. He was nominated by Rohingya Action Ireland.
The Special Achievement Award was presented to Carlow native, Shauntelle Tynan, 21.
In 2015, Shauntelle was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. The lack of treatment available in Ireland required Shauntelle to travel to a children’s hospital in Texas.
In order to get there the Tyne family had to do some fundraising. Shauntelle ended up staying in Texas for 18 months and is now cancer free.
She continues to update her followers through her YouTube channel. Shan was nominated by Claire Healy of Eist Cancer Support Centre.
The Community Safety Award was won by a group of students from St Leo’s College, Carlow, called Crossing the Line. The group’s tagline is “Consent starts with conversation’. Their aim is to make young people more aware of the meaning of consent and how important it is.
They chose this issue because they felt that sexual assault and consent isn’t talked about enough with young people and that students are not being properly educated about the meaning of consent or sexual assault in schools.
The Group Award went to Holly Farrell (15) and Laura Delaney (17) for the Light up the Night initiative. Light up the Night is a suicide awareness program that was set up by communities in North Kilkenny in 2016. These four award winners will now go forward to the National Garda Youth Awards which will take place in 2020.