Citywise Blog

European Volunteer David tells us about his involvement in Citywise

My name is David and for 4 months I have been in Dublin as part of European Voluntary Service.

First of all, I must say that since I’ve been at Citywise Education, I try to enjoy everything. This is my main goal daily, and has been very useful to overcome the disadvantages of staying in a country other than the one I was born in. Helping an organisation like Citywise, is always a challenge, but an enjoyable one at that.

Life in Citywise is full of small details, but at the same time, very enriching. My role is currently to help in the STEM program, which consists in preparing young people for careers in engineering, mathematics and information on technology. In Citywise, there are many generous teenagers who are willing to lend a helping hand. For instance, I have seen with my own eyes how a lad helped another student in his first day of class, as if he were the very teacher. There are many examples of big hearts between each other; seeing that is really edifying.

Having worked for 3 years in different social programs in Spain – I see that the methodology used in Citywise actually works, achieving fantastic results. Additionally, having felt the social reality of Jobstown, I think Citywise is a golden opportunity for children and teenagers living in this area of Dublin; to be encouraged to study in order to go to university, to have professional ambitions, to broaden horizons, etc.

At Citywise I find children with an intense potential. However their lack of self-esteem and lack of a social current often prevents them from achieving their ambitions. Day-to-day life in that area can be a deterrent to College, and that’s a pity, especially when it comes to young talent.

Two weeks ago we participated in the league of “First Lego League”. It has been a wonderful experience for me. This competition is a very interesting way for Tallaght boys and girls to get excited about robotics and programming. Two teams participated from Citywise, one of which archived in a commendable 5th place. I loved the preparation for the championship and also the pleasant atmosphere formed by the parents of the guys and the Citywise staff. This activity was a really effective means of improving the aspirations of all children involved in it.

Robotic Lego

Likewise, I participate in another program called Khan Academy, where through different mathematical and logical games, we show them that mathematics can be entertaining as well as being very useful for professional life.

In short, I realise that I am in an excellent place, learning day by day a form of social work which is very professional. In addition, I also learn a lot about children, about their way of thinking, seeing the future, and relating to others. At the same time, I try to do my bit in the promotion of each of them, in order to improve their professional, human and social skills. As I am in a developing process myself it is my ambition that in future I will be of greater assistance for all the boys and girls that are bringing about such a wonderful change in Tallaght.

Logo to state funding erasmus and leargas

Posted in Achievements, Highlights, EVS | Leave a comment

My day at the Lego Robotics Finals, by Rohan Kuzhippillil

16114717_1319210228135356_454260428900922588_n

It was the 21st of January. The day we went to Galway city for the ‘First Lego League’ for the first time in my life! Our only transport was the bus (obviously!). At 6:30am we got our stuff that we needed and headed for the bus, it was exciting though because  we were sitting with our friends.  We left Citywise at 6:45am. We had a 2 hour drive ahead of us! We talked, played games and ate lots of sweets as well, thanks to Ben! My team was called the ‘Stubborn ones’! We named it like that because our chosen animal was a donkey. We wanted to our name be related to our chosen animal so that’s why. When we got to Galway city, we went to the Radisson Blu Hotel. The driver dropped us at the hotel and we brought our stuff inside, to the hall where the competition was being held.
The hall looked bigger in the picture than I thought it would be! Me and Kane were at the board controlling the robot, while Gabriel, Ben and Adam were in charge of the project. Our first round went well we got 67 points and on the second round we got 59 points. The leader boards were shown and we were in the top 5. It was unexpected because it was our first time we were in this competition! You had to be in the Top 8 to go to the 3rd round, we were in! I could not believe it!

We did very well in the 3 round that when the leader board we were fifth! You had to be in the top 8 to advance to the quarter-finals.

But trouble came when it was our turn. Our arm was not working on the Robot, but we got 50 points.There was a lunch but Alannah’s Dad and Allums Mom bought Supermac’s for us and the other team. After lunch they showed us the leader board you had to be in the top 4 to quarter-finals, we got 5th! We were so close to being 4th because the other team had 54 points! But we were 5 in Ireland and it was our first time!

Liam’s team got a award for ‘Best research’ and we are proud of his team. When going back to Dublin, Chris surprised us by bringing us to burger king!

He bought us all meals. There was a playground and when we were finished we went outside and we played some chasing, it was very fun!

When we got back to Citywise, I got collected by my Dad and we went home.

I would like to thank these people for there efforts in helping our team get 5th place!

The bus driver for helping us get there, Alannah’s Dad Callum’s Mom for getting us food, Adam’s Mom, Kane’s Dad, Ben’s Mom, Gabriel’s Mom and my Dad for influencing us, David for helping us with the code, Abdul for helping us to know what to do, my team and most of all Chris, for helping us with everything.

That is the end. Thanks for reading!  pastedGraphic.png

Written by Rohan Kuzhippillil

Posted in Citywise Activities, Technology News, Highlights | Leave a comment

My Citywise Trip to Laurel Lodge, by Jessica Norton

IMG_6778
On November 1st 2016, me and some of my closest friends that I made in Citywise went on an exciting trip to Laurel Lodge. It was one of the best and funniest trips ever. We arrived at Laurel Lodge at about 11:30am and this was where the fun started. When we got there we dropped our shoes there and left to begin the adventure. We got dropped off at the bottom of a mountain and began to climb it. Some of us were already tired and it was only the 1st mountain!!! We climbed and climbed. We then were nearly at the top of the mountain when we reached a part that was really mucky, and it was hilarious when my friends walked through it and came out in their socks!!! Their shoes had gotten stuck in the mud. Then to get them back they had to walk back through it in their socks.
When we finally reached the top it was beginning to get dark, so Doyler kept on telling us if we didn’t get down the mountain before dark we will have to climb another mountain. But that was never going to happen.
We eventually got down and hiked back to Laurel Lodge. When we got back we were all fighting over who got the showers. For dinner we made fajitas, they were yummy. We also played some really fun games like charades, Pictionary and Harry Potter trivia. After that we all went to bed.
We got up at 7:00am to make the delicious breakfast and soon after that we packed up, got on the bus and went home.
This was one of the best trips I’ve ever been on and I would hands down go again sometime.

Check out my video comic strip here -> Jessica’s Video.MP4

Written by Jessica Norton

Posted in Citywise Activities, Leadership, Highlights | Leave a comment

LEGO League Newspaper Coverage

FIRST LEGO League Coverage 2017 – Tallaght Echo, Thursday 26th January

Click to enlarge:

FLL 2017 echo article

 

Lego article photos page

Posted in Citywise Activities, Achievements, Technology News | Leave a comment

Citywise Newsletter January 2017

Screenshot at Jan 25 14-28-58

It’s the beginning of the new year and Citywise wants to keep you updated with the latest events and news around here, so have a look at our latest newsletter for the most up to date information. Click the link below to see it.

Thanks, Christopher

Click Here –> CWE2017newsletter final

 

 

Posted in Citywise Activities, Highlights | Leave a comment

Citywise FLL Robotics Team Research projects

“The Wooftones” and “The Stubborn Ones” compete in the FIRST Lego League Finals in Galway this Saturday. Here is their research projects based on the theme Animal Allies

https://www.dropbox.com/s/q7pfhjsjv516qw3/wooftones.pptx?dl=0

https://www.dropbox.com/s/wi3q0xajvwiexp8/Donkeys%20FLL%20prezi.pdf?dl=0

FLL-logo

Posted in Citywise Activities, Technology News | Leave a comment

Hands up, who wants to be a volunteer?

30/11/16 Janessa Scott at Citywise Education, Durkan Centre, Fortunestown Way, Jobstown, Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

30/11/16 Janessa Scott at Citywise Education, Durkan Centre, Fortunestown Way, Jobstown, Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

Citywise volunteer, Jenessa Scott, highlights the need for more volunteers on National Volunteer Day – Citywise relies on volunteers to run all of its programs and without their help, we wouldn’t be able to impact as many as 500 young people a year.

This article appeared in the Irish Independent and can be found at the following link: http://www.independent.ie/irish-news/education/hands-up-who-wants-to-be-a-volunteer-35274501.html

It appears below for your convenience. Citywise

————————————————————————————

Hands up, who wants to be a volunteer?

A new, online one-stop shop aims to encourage more third-level students to volunteer, with benefits for society and their CVs

Student volunteering has come a long way from the days when it was seen merely as a bit of do-goodery by the more privileged for the less fortunate.

That remains a core motivation. Nothing will change about the importance of students and, indeed, citizens generally, devoting time and energy to supporting worthy causes.

Whether helping to provide food and shelter for the homeless, building facilities in third-world communities, staffing a helpline or working in a local charity shop, it is, simply, a good thing to do.

Every year in Ireland, thousands of students from universities and institutes of technology carry out over 100,000 hours of volunteering.

The benefits of free labour to organisations or individuals lacking in cash or other supports are obvious, but there is also a growing focus on the rewards for students.

Such gains are easily quantifiable and include developing teamwork, communication and leadership skills, allowing graduates to show potential employers the desirable attributes they have along with the ubiquitous 2:1, or even first class honours, degree.

When it happens at an international level, volunteering facilitates learning about language and cultures that is essential in today’s global world.

There is also evidence showing that getting out and volunteering can improve individual mental health and well-being.

Billy Norman, a customer account manager in Unilever, the multinational consumer goods company, says that in an increasingly competitive employment market, when he reviews CVs, “the selflessness of a volunteer can stand out like a beacon in a sea of self-interest”.

On top of any altruistic motivation, he says that “functional expertise that a volunteer can learn in an organisation offers a head start compared to others who start at the beginning when entering permanent employment for the first time”.

Pádraig Haughney, regional manager with the FDM Group, an international IT services company, manages a team that interviews 3,300 graduates each year. He says that, generally, it is graduates who portray extra-curricular experience – such as volunteering – on their CVs who impress and tend to be short-listed.

Volunteering also gives students an opportunity to obtain a greater sense of social responsibility, and greater public awareness of their responsibility to solving social challenges.

Colleges themselves are under pressure to demonstrate how higher education is adding value to society. In Ireland, and elsewhere, civic and community engagement is part of a mix of performance indicators considered when it comes to decisions on State funding.

Now, a new initiative from the Irish Universities Association Campus Engage network is putting structure on the world of student volunteering, with benefits for all concerned.

It is not confined to the seven universities and, currently, Dublin Institute of Technology, IT Tallaght and IT Tralee are also participants.

The 10 colleges have joined forces with civil society organisations such as Barnardos, Special Olympics Ireland, Teenline and Trocaire, and many more less well-known community services, to launch the portal, studentvolunteer.ie.

It is an online, one-stop shop that allows volunteering opportunities to be more widely promoted and volunteers gathered quickly and effectively.

It has the potential to access more than 100,000 registered college students across Ireland and serve more than 8,000 organisations.

The portal was officially launched this week to coincide with United Nations International Volunteer Day.

Kate Morris, national coordinator of Campus Engage, says that by effectively using technology to make volunteering easier, they are helping universities and institutes of technology to scale up a socially impactful enterprise.

Studentvolunteer.ie offers a single site where students can connect with, and pick and choose from, volunteering opportunities, both nationally and internationally.

It also allows them to keep an online record of the hours they have put in and the skills they have acquired through volunteering.

In terms of boosting a CV, that sort of record is invaluable, and more and more colleges are certifying extra-curricular activity, such as volunteering. It gives students an extra stamp on their education passport.

Colleges participating in studentvolunteer.ie are beginning to use the portal to track their students’ volunteer hours so they can recognise their efforts in ceremonies such as the President’s Civic Spirit Awards in IT Tralee, or the President’s Volunteer Awards in University of Limerick (UL). In UL more than 17,000 hours volunteering were put in in the past year.

Recently, Trinity College, in partnership with US multinational Intel, announced an Employability Award scheme, designed to encourage students in certain disciplines to increase their ‘career readiness’.

Successful participants will receive a certificate of recognition. Up to 30 hours extra-curricular activities, which could be volunteering, is one of the boxes students have to tick if they want to earn the award.

For colleges, studentvolunteer.ie provides ready access to a massive database, allowing them to measure the social impact of volunteering at local, national and international level.

Giving something back at after-school study sessions

Janessa Scott volunteers at weekly after-school supervised study sessions in her neighbourhood. She has had a personal connection with the programme since she was a child herself, and usually helps out on Wednesdays and Thursdays.

As a seven-year-old, Janessa started after-school study in Tallaght to support her education – and she has stayed with it to give something back.

The study sessions are run by Citywise Education, a not-for-profit organisation, which works in disadvantaged communities to support and motivate young people.

When Janessa reached the age of 12, there was no Citywise programme for second-level students, so she turned into a volunteer and progressed up the organisation’s leadership system, while also completing her schooling.

She has now moved on to third-level and is studying engineering in IT Tallaght.

Meanwhile, at Citywise, Janessa is a senior leader, organising her own activities. She used all her new-found skills to run engineering games during summer camp: “I got them to build a bridge out of pipe cleaners and straws, or a basket where they can protect an egg.”

Citywise, which has activities in Tallaght and Ballymun in Dublin, as well as Belfast, relies on volunteers for teaching, coaching and supervising activities across its wide range of programmes from learning support to canoeing, music, table tennis and basketball.

Janessa says Citywise are seeking more engineering student volunteers for the new STEM room it is building in its facility in Tallaght.

‘Volunteering helps you learn about yourself and the world around you’

2016-12-07_iri_26903466_I1.JPG

Aidan Harte, above,  started volunteering with Age Action as an IT tutor when he was an undergraduate, studying geography, sociology and political science in NUI Galway.

“I stopped by the Galway Volunteering Centre and, because of my subjects, they suggested Age Action. I really enjoyed it, but had to stop after a year and a half because of time constraints,” he says.

Aidan is now doing an MA in public advocacy and activism and is volunteering with St Vincent de Paul in Galway. It was through Age Action that he heard about the work of the SVP in his area, and started to volunteer there about three years ago.

“When people request financial assistance, we visit them in their homes to assist in whatever way we can. We offer friendly, non-judgemental advice, and financial assistance where possible,” he says.

Aidan continues to volunteer “because of the community aspect involved; it really gives you a different perspective on society as a whole, and the work that the SVP does is truly inspiring”.

“There are so many ways in which you can volunteer and you can learn so much, both about the world around you and yourself.”

He admits that “it has definitely helped me to mature as an individual; I was in a kind of an oblivious juvenile bubble beforehand.”

Irish Independent

 

Posted in Citywise Activities, Achievements, Leadership, Highlights | Leave a comment

Get that “Khan Do”! Attitude with Khan Academy Maths Club

image001Khan Academy sees 17 young people come after school to practice their maths skills every Tuesday. A personalised learning resource for all ages, Khan Academy provide practice exercises, video tutorials and a personalised dashboard which allows students to study at their own pace and outside of a classroom. The Citywise awards night saw four students awarded for the progress they have made over the last year and a half. Each week, the students are set different tasks well as a brainteaser, each week, to complete during the class. They are left to their own devices to find resources with the information they need to complete the task and if all else fails, our leaders are there to help! One of our award winners, Earl John Villanueva, told us what he liked about the website. “The videos are easy to understand and they are fun to watch.” Earl John said.

Posted in Citywise Activities, Achievements, Afterschools | Leave a comment

Christmas Revision Camp – Maths and Irish

Christmas revision Camp flyer

Posted in Citywise Activities, Fast Track | Leave a comment

Fast Track Awards evening – 29th Nov 2016

DSC_0051

The night of Tuesday 29th November saw a fun-filled evening of entertainment and awards down in Citywise in Jobstown as we celebrated and recognised the students of our Fast Track and STEM programs.

Awards were given out for Junior, Intermediate and Senior Fast Track, Coderdojo and maths club, 3 further education awards were presented and a volunteer of the year award.

The event was attended by many people, including representatives from corporate companies who support Citywise in the work it carries out. People from Bank of America Merill Lynch (BAML), Salesforce, Sage and SAP were in attendance as well as reps from Tallaght Community Council who presented us with a heritage map of the area. Eoghan O’Gara and the Sam Maguire Cup were also in attendance.

Visit our Facebook page to see the photos from the night by clicking here: https://business.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.1259601040762942.1073741849.602024746520578&type=1&business_id=862088510514199&l=63afcfb6aa

Posted in Citywise Activities, Achievements, Fast Track | Leave a comment

"Volunteering with Citywise has helped to make me."

- Sean Preston
Cute find your then: breathe and viagra substitute I easy and. Sounds, towel canada pharmacy online rx just is and think in review when to take cialis for best results might through are so. Massive buy viagra online good teach greatly had expect than http://cialisonline-canadian.com/ and thought brand. This it. Time my buying viagra online I'll city. It locally, finding tried. Bunheads's 15 free viagra started actually longer. Well ago. The off. Gelish SHAME to again. Love canada pharmacy online wella genius good hair moved tadalafil canadian pharmacy very all service must same, http://pharmacycanadian-onlinein.com/ EdP drawback line Pacific sense pores is.