Recruitment is already underway for the 8th Donegal Youth Council, with the elections taking place this October. As the current Donegal Youth Council are reaching the end of a very successful term (2014 – 2016) we caught up with a few of them to find out what inspired them, their best moments, and what advice they have for the upcoming Donegal Youth Councillors. Today we have Sean Harkin, who was the Crana College, Buncrana representative. Here’s what he had to say…
Sean Harkin receiving a Certificate of Achievement from the Mayor of Donegal County Council Terence Slowey for his role as a representative on Donegal Youth Council 2014-2016
What was your role within the Youth Council?
I was elected as the representative of Crana College, and it was my job to voice the opinions and highlight problems that the young people in my area felt needed to be addressed.
Did something inspire you to run for the Youth Council/why were you interested in running?
I first heard of the Donegal Youth Council when I saw the posters in my school, and I then attended the information talk when Martin Keeney, Donegal Youth Council co-ordinator came to my school. I was very impressed by all the work the previous Youth Council had completed and I could see they were making a worthwhile change. This made me want to run, so I took the opportunity and put myself forward to be elected.
What are you most proud of achieving during the 2 years you were a Youth Councillor, and why?
In our term, we achieved many of the targets we set at the start of the year, but my favourite achievement was launching Shake up Sports in the county. Shake up Sports was an initiative we started from scratch to encourage teenagers to take up new hobbies and be more active. The project was a great success and I was delighted to that we even brought the project to Buncrana in October 2015.
What was the most memorable moment for you?
Going to Norway as part of our Youth Exchange Programme was an experience I’ll never forget. We worked hard for the two years to so that we could participate in this exchange with the Nordland Youth Council and we had such great craic on the trip as well.
Donegal Youth Council on the way to Norway!
What are you doing now?
I’m currently a first year in NUI Galway studying Undenominated Engineering. In the lead up to the Leaving Cert I was still able to participate in the youth council, which did require my spare time but it is definitely manageable.
What advice would you give to the upcoming Youth Councillors?
I would advise upcoming Youth Councillors to get involved in projects and not to take a back seat. This way, you get the most out of the programme and you will learn a lot more.
Have the craic while on your term, and I’ll be back to see what the new Youth Councillors are like some day!
Donegal Youth Council is funded by Donegal County Council, HSE Health Promotion and the Dept of Children & Youth Affairs and is co-ordinated by Donegal Youth Service.
Information election packs are available by contacting the Donegal Youth Council on their official www.facebook.com/donegalyouthcouncil or by emailing email@example.com. Youth Council Co-ordinator Carlyn Maguire can also be contacted at 074-9129630