The County Final of the Kerry Student Enterprise Awards was held in IT Tralee on Friday 31st March. Presentation Castleisland had three enterprises that qualified for the final. Two first year projects entered the Junior Category: Rocking Records and Floral Floats. Rocking Records made clocks and coasters out of old vinyl records and Floral Floats made a decorative centre piece that combined a candle and a vase. One third year group entered the Intermediate Category, The Louver. The Louver is a foot operated flushing lever that replaces your existing toilet handle and eliminates the need to flush your toilet by hand, reducing the spread of bacteria.
On the day the girls scooped three awards across the two categories. The Louver won best stand overall and were runners up in the Intermediate Category. Rocking Records were also runners up in the Junior Category. Presentation Castleisland won more awards on the day than any other school and were the only school to win prizes in two out of the three categories. The girls had been working on their enterprises since September and their hard work at our weekly lunchtime enterprise club and in their own time has really paid off.
The annual school enterprise exhibition of ten student projects was held on the day of the Christmas holidays in St. Johns hall. The ten enterprises displayed their products, which they have been working on since September. Our school enterprise mentor, Maeve Townsend was in attendance along with Fiona Leahy from the Local Enterprise Office. Also in attendance was local branch manager of the Bank of Ireland, Paddy Garvey who once again sponsored the event with two excellence in enterprise awards.
Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland, represented Kerry at the Student Enterprise Awards National Final in Croke Park on Wednesday the 20th April. 22,000 students from 620 schools across Ireland entered this year’s competition. The girls were among the 201 national finalists, who all won their respective county final. The national final showcased the top 1% of student entrepreneurs across the country. The girls reached this stage as they were successful in winning the overall prize of the ‘Junior Category’ at the Kerry Student Enterprise Awards County Final in March. This is a prestigious event and the girls represented both their school and county at national level.
Grace Daly, Cáit O’Mahony, Lauren Butler and Síobhan Brosnan makeup ‘The Candle Corner’. Their enterprise is a range of homemade, scented candles in a variety of colours. The candles range from flower tea lights to cylindrical votives to candle melts.
Since winning the county final the girls not only went onto expand their range of products but also received an abundance of support and sponsorship both locally and further afield. In Castleisland the businesses included: The Curiosity Shop, The Treasure Chest, Sheila Costello, Island Flowers, inStyle Boutique and the Bank of Ireland. In Tralee they included: Dan Fitzgerald, Barry Packaging, fotofun, Copywrite, Guineys and Kerry Agri-Business.
‘The Candle Corner’ is becoming a household name as the girls received best wishes from TD, Michael Healy-Rae and Kerry Senior Footballer Killian Young. The girls did their families, friends, school and county proud on the biggest stage of all.
Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland were victorious in the Student Enterprise Awards County Final, where they picked up the overall winner of the junior category in Tralee IT on Friday 4th March. ‘The Candle Corner’ was the triumphant group of four girls, Grace Daly, Siobhain Brosnan, Lauren Butler and Cait O’Mahony. Their enterprise was homemade, scented candles in a variety of colours. The girls now go forward to the Student Enterprise Awards National Final 2016, which will take place on Wednesday 20th April 2016 at the Croke Park Conference Centre, Dublin.
Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland entered three teams into the Student Enterprise Awards County Final. Along with ‘The Candle Corner’ were ‘Once in a Blue Cupcake’, who made delicious blue icing cupcakes with tiny white pearls on top and ‘Zippys’, who designed and ordered personalised school half-zipped tops, with the school crest and initials (optional). The competition began at 9.30 am and concluded at 2.00 pm. The day involved setting up a stand for each group and presenting their enterprises to all present, including a judging panel.
This year, the school chose first year students’ as the year group to be involved in the Student Enterprise Awards for 2015/2016. This competition gave students the opportunity to develop a range of entrepreneurial and business skills required to create a new business. Students went through the various stages involved in setting up an enterprise, including market research and segmentation to preparing a business plan. The students worked on their enterprise ideas with the help of their business teacher, Pierce Dargan and their mentor from the Local Enterprise Office, Maeve Townsend.
At the beginning of the year, the business department decided to assign one lunchtime per week to an ‘Enterprise Club’. Here students worked in their enterprise teams to develop their enterprise ideas. This club allowed students the time to work on their projects without infringing on class time and it gave students a space to seek help and advice from their business teacher, who was present.
The students were given targets to focus towards throughout the year. The targets were in the form of exhibitions. These were held in the school’s social activity area and gymnasium. These events gave the girls the opportunity to showcase their enterprises and sell their products. Two exhibitions were held this year. The first exhibition was held in November at lunchtime, to showcase to their fellow students and teachers. The second was held on the day of the Christmas holidays in the school gymnasium and was on a bigger scale. It was a day of awards and celebration for the hard work completed by the students. Eight enterprises were on show. On this occasion parents, family and friends joined the school staff to browse and buy from the eight stands on display.
Presentation Secondary School, Castleisland encourages an entrepreneurial mind-set in all its students and this year their excellence in enterprise has been rewarded!