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Scoil Chriost Ri, Portlaoise Inspiring Students

In an effort to promote business, enterprise, technology and all things new and modern, Scoil Chriost Ri Secondary School, Portlaoise in partnership with their Parents Council held its first ever Enterprise and Engineers week on Monday 27th of February to Friday 2nd of March.

During the week students were introduced to successful entrepreneurs who discussed why they set up their own business, how they did it and why they would do it all again tomorrow.

Speakers ranged from local women such as Gillian Reidy, who as owner of award winning graphic design company ‘Penhouse Design’ and who had never studied a business subject or a degree in her life, and Helen Gee of ‘G’s Gourmet Jams’, who encouraged the establishment of new businesses, especially in a recession “because the only way is up” to nationally recognised figures including Julie Cobbe of Stylefish and Sarah Gillespie, founder of DramaFit.

However, one of the main principles of enterprise is taking action and Kathryn Gallagher of ‘Sense for Schools’ introduced 5th year students to an enterprise activity which saw them set up and launch their own cafe.

Scoil Chriost Ri introduced Technical Graphics and Technology into its junior cycle curriculum last year and the subjects are proving to be very popular among the girls.

Technology students were treated to a host of science and technology demonstrations along with talks from qualified female engineers: Mary White, Esther White and Mary Cotter, proving that engineering is not strictly a male profession and the school is providing every opportunity for girls in Portlaoise to study the hugely important STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Maths) subjects.

The week was a great success and succeeded in promoting a sense of enterprise, hard work and resilience in all students.

The week also gave the transition year students of Scoil Chriost Ri the opportunity to display their own entrepreneurial skills when they showcased their own mini-companies on Friday before competing in the County Enterprise awards the following week.