The next person to feature in 'Faces of Citywise' is a well-known face around the place, our COO, Audrey! Be sure to keep reading to find out a bit more about her experience so far, and learn a bit more about how she got to the position she is in today. She has seen every aspect of Citywise, so who better to hear from! If you take anything from this blog, make sure it’s that you know that hard work really does pay off.
“I started volunteering in Citywise almost eight years ago (I always have to double check the time frame because it never seems right!) with Grenoble and Hamburg.” Similar to a lot of people involved in Citywise, they come for one thing, and stay for everything that our organisation has to offer!
“Over time I think I have now been involved in all of the afterschool programmes. My background was in childcare and at the time I wasn’t working but still wanted to do something in that area. Volunteering with Grenoble and Hamburg was a new experience, not only because the girls were slightly older than those I usually worked with, but because I really felt out of my comfort zone. My nephews were going to Citywise at the time and I could see how beneficial it was for them so I thought I’d give it a shot. If only I’d known then what a conversation with John Keogh got you into!” The staff at Citywise are very lucky to have such brilliant management to work with, who want nothing more than for you to reach your potential, to achieve your dreams and to never give up.
“There are so many things I love about Citywise that it was always hard to say no to getting more involved. There’s the food for one! Elaine’s lunches and the odd breakfast are always a winner. Then there’s the staff and volunteers. I’ve been really lucky and made some great friends over the past few years here. The real highlight for me though is the kids themselves. It doesn’t matter what is going on, whether you have a to do list the length of your arm, or you’re stressed with college work, or just having a bad day, the kids will always brighten your day.” This is a well-known quote from our COO. It goes without saying, she is always super busy, (her to do list really is the length of her arm!) but no matter how she is feeling, she’s always there to make our lives easier!
“Our leaders and members are the best! Ok maybe I’m bias!!! I am so incredibly proud of the kids we work with. Getting to know them when they start in an afterschool programme and watch them progress through Fast Track Academy and leadership, onto college and work just makes me so happy. You see kids starting at the age of 10, quiet, shy and nervous, grow into confident, outgoing, ambitious young adults and you realise all those tough days of planning, disagreements, having to challenge and having them not like you were completely worth it!” It is situations like this, that make us truly believe we are making a difference in the lives of the youth of West Tallaght.
“Citywise has given me so much personally as both a volunteer and a staff member. When I started volunteering I had no confidence whatsoever and rarely pushed myself out of my comfort zone. It gave me the confidence to not only go back and get my degree, but also my masters (hopefully). It challenged me to get my bus license and take on responsibility that I would never have thought I could. It has even gotten me, who cannot swim, into a canoe in Blessington Lake and stuck in a foam pit in Jumpzone!!” It’s definitely fair to say that Citywise pushes us all to our limits, and allows us to be whoever we want to be.