Chalking up fifteen years of serving students at risk of dropping out of secondary school, St John’s Education Centre, in the grounds of Holy Faith Convent, Glasnevin, held its Graduation Day in November. Each student received a personal message of hope One boy, who is fascinated with knives, guns and weapons received; “Education is the most powerful weapon which can be used to change the world” (Nelson Mandela). The boy who struggles to keep quiet in class and who loves John Wayne got; “Talk low…Talk slow…Don’t talk too much…” (John Wayne). When we stand with these young people in their struggles we can contemplate the gifts, the strengths, the dreams and the hopes which were so evident on that Graduation Day.
How it Works
The programme was born from the need to help students, parents and schools deal with the issues which cause students to drop out of school. Students are referred to us from their school and go through an interview process before being accepted into the programme. An individual education plan is developed for each student so that the problem issues are worked on in a caring and professionally supportive environment. Each student returns to school after the six week programme but follow-up consultation and counselling for students and parents is available. The programme is sponsored by the Department of Education and Skills, the Holy Faith Sisters, the De La Salle Brothers and a number of dedicated volunteers – including retired teacher and school principals – who provide great support to the students.