Killarney students to compete in Croke Park finals

Croke Park bound, students Darja Puzanova, Caoimhe Fleming, Ares Farre, Aoife Ó Brien Ben Cussen, Julia Olabode and YSI guide Lorraine Crowley

A DEDICATED group of students from Killarney Community College has been shortlisted for the Young Social Innovators of the Year Awards which will be presented at a gala ceremony in Croke Park this Wednesday.

Their Be Dementia Aware project raises awareness about the condition and how it can impact on families. The students chose the issue as they believed it needed to be explored and they wanted to help create an environment where everyone can support people with dementia and their loved ones through their difficult times.

The Young Social Innovators project for senior cycle students is a youth-led, team-based, action and change focused programme. Working in teams, young people aged between 15-18 identify a social issue of concern to them, explore it and come up with real actions to create change.

The Killarney students are among 31 finalists selected from over 500 projects around Ireland and they have been shortlisted in the ‘Making our Community Better’ category.

The students have completed extensive research, created educational videos on their Youtube channel, started a website ( and launched a social media profile that received massive attention.

They also worked closely with and raised funds for both the Alzheimer Society of Ireland and Rockmount Care Centre in Kilgarvan.

“They have worked passionately throughout the year and they have opened up a lot of discussion in Kerry and beyond about the importance of being Dementia Aware,” said their YSI guide Lorraine Crowley.

“People have stated how it is so comforting and touching that a group of young people care so much about spreading awareness about this topic. One person also mentioned the touching poems and quotes the group shares social media are and also how educational their videos have been,” she added.