St. Dominic’s College Ballyfermot celebrates the benefits of further education, as part of College Awareness Week 2016. #AspireAchieveExcel

St. Dominic’s College Ballyfermot did it once again and made this year’s College Awareness week Bigger and Better than ever. The third annual College Awareness Week (CAW) took place from November 21st to November 27th 2016. The campaign promotes the benefits of going to college, supports students to become ‘college ready’ and features local role models to encourage and promote this message.

St. Dominic’s College Ballyfermot celebrated College Awareness Week by holding a wealth of different events to encourage our own personal message for our students which is to “Aspire, Achieve and Excel”. This years events were believed to be the best yet ! Ms. Keeler and her team strongly supported by the principal Mary Daly believe that this week is always a highlight to the school year and feel this year in particular was the most successful yet.

The Provost of Trinity College Dublin Patrick Pendergast began our week with a burst of energy as he instilled a message of belief in his talk to student whilst giving a very personal genuine message to work hard and reap your rewards. The week’s events continued and featured a host of people in business, culinary arts, past pupils, creative writers, sport, youth work and nursing , to name a few.

On Wednesday morning the corridors were buzzing with the arrival of all of the top Universities, IT’s and Colleges of further education as our very own Careers Expo took place in our sports hall – this was a huge success and invaluable experience for all of our students who got a chance to speak to these institutes about their budding ambitions – it was also great to see our primary school students who also attended the expo and really got into the spirit of thinking and talking careers.

On Thursday morning we branched out as Ms. Keeler took 5th and 6th year students to Liberties college Dublin as they got to take part and get a real taste of college as they had a day in the life of a college course of their choice- this exposed our students to the variety of courses and proved to them that it’s not as scary as they once thought.


The events did not stop there – On Friday we hosted our very own Mingle morning as we invited a host of people from different sectors of work from sport, science and banking and in particular a huge thank you to Allianz Worldwide for allowing a large number of staff take part in this morning from a wealth of sections in their business and give our girls insight into their very successful careers. Worthwhile conversations took place over coffee and croissants while students and volunteers got the chance to mingle and share their stories, this event in particular was very special and enjoyed by all who took part. Events continued with mentoring sessions from DPS, workshops and quiz’s from Ballyfermot Partnership and not to forget the empowering visit from FBD CEO Fiona Muldoon who blew away both staff and students with her exciting and inspiring story of how she got to her extremely successful position today and once again promoted the message of hard work, determination and commitment as key to her success – Fiona really summed up what our week was all about and zoned home the message which we hoped to create which was to Aspire, Achieve and excel and more importantly work hard while doing so.

Guidance Counsellor Cheryl Keeler said “We are delighted to be part of a nationwide campaign to promote the importance of post-secondary education. There are lots of options out there and College Awareness Week encourages people of all ages to consider further education to be part of their future and I feel like it is my duty to expose our students to this information from 1st to 6th year and am constantly working on new creative ways to do just that.”

College Awareness Week aims to inspire and inform all students about the importance of having a post-secondary education plan. It advocates for students to have the choice to pursue the course best suited to their interests, abilities and future plans, whether that is a PLC qualification, an apprenticeship or a university degree.


College Awareness Week is supported by the Higher Education Authority, the National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals and the Institute of Guidance Counsellors. Many other organisations such as The National Parents Council Post-Primary, the Irish Union of Second Level Students and Irish Business Employers Confederation have also lent their support to the initiative.

The inaugural campaign in 2014, the first of its kind in Ireland, was a runaway success with over 350 events in locations including schools, higher educational institutes, community centres and libraries.

We at St. Dominic’s are leading the way with our involvement in this fantastic campaign constantly raising the bar of expectation for our students and finding new ways in which we can support them on their journeys.

Preparations and brainstorming has already commenced to continue to build on the success of this event for the future. #Aspire,Achieve,Excel.