Recruitment is already underway for the 8th Donegal Youth Council, with the elections taking place in 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. First up is Bridget McDyer, who was Donegal Youth Council Mayor for her second term. Here’s what she had to say…
Bridget McDyer – Donegal Youth Council Mayor
Bridget McDyer receiving a Certificate of Achievement from the Mayor of Donegal County Council Terence Slowey for her role as a representative on Donegal Youth Council
What was your role within the Youth Council?
I was the representative for the Rosses Community School in Dungloe. In the first year I was the Chairperson of the Glenties municipal district, and in the second term I was the Mayor of the Youth Council.
Did something inspire you to run for the Youth Council?
I’m a person who loves challenging myself, and trying to learn new skills. I heard amazing things about projects like ‘Sparks’(Mental Health Roadshow) the previous council had done and I knew I wanted to get involved and have my voice heard. I wanted to create projects on things I was passionate about, like sports and mental health.
What are you most proud of achieving during the 2 years you were a Youth Councillor, and why?
I’m proud of a lot of the things we achieved and for so many reasons! Shake Up Sports was amazing because my
passion is sport and it was something we created at the very start. It’s a sports initiative for young people about the importance of sport, but with the emphasis on fun and activity rather than competition. It was also amazing to have been part of the team that went to Dublin to make the presentation to the Coca Cola thank you fund for €25,000. But for me, the work we did with the LGBT community is something I’m very proud of. I sat on their steering group from the beginning of my term and I worked with them all the way up to the referendum, and afterwards as well. Witnessing the referendum pass was unbelievable. Just to see how much of a difference this made to them.
What was the most memorable moment for you?
Getting to meet Bressie was kind of amazing! Yet again I can’t just pick one…. Getting to go to Norway as part of an exchange with the Nordland Youth Council was unbelievable, and was a once in a life time opportunity but, meeting Prince Charles and President Michael D Higgins were definitely major highlights.
What are you doing now?
I’m in 6th year at school and doing my Leaving Cert , I hope to study Politics and English at 3rd level. I have also signed up to Jigsaw Donegal’s youth advisory panel.
What advice would you give to all of the upcoming Youth Councillors?
“The more you put in the more you get out!” believe in yourself and you’ll actually surprise yourself at what you can achieve! Don’t be afraid of what people think and never be afraid to voice your opinion!
Is there anything else you would like to add?
It was the most amazing experience of my life and I wish I could do it all over again! Embrace everything, the opportunity is there and it’s up to you to take it and make the most of it!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. Youth Council Co-ordinator Carlyn Maguire can also be contacted at 074-9129630