The Club has actively supported Rotary Ireland's flagship competition.
The Youth Leadership Development Competition is one of Rotary's longest-running youth projects, an all-Ireland annual event aimed at helping young people prepare for their future careers it rewards young people with clear leadership potential based on their extra-curricular activities. The winners are judged solely on their potential as leaders from over 2,000 applicants across Ireland. Following a series of interviews at Club and regional levels 24 winners are selected who, before heading off to Strasburg, meet for the first time in Belfast to learn about the government and culture in Northern Ireland meeting local political, business and charity leaders. They then travel on to Dublin for further meetings with leaders to learn about the Government and culture in the Republic. The group also visit the European Parliament's offices in Belfast and Dublin to be briefed on the Parliament and the EU. The highlight is an all expenses trip to debate a variety of motions at Euroscola in the European Parliament in Strasburg with approximately 1,200 other students from Europe.
The Club thanks all members who give willingly of their time to carry out interviews.
The competition would not be possible without their support.
In Ireland it is run with the assistance of the European Parliament Office in Dublin. The Club participates by inviting schools to nominate for interview students who will be 17 or younger by March of the competition year. They are asked to submit standard application forms, which illustrate their personal achievements to date, work and leadership experience and gave examples of their planning and organisational skills. Members interview these candidates at each school and select those to go forward to a Club final where one is selected for the area Regional Final (of which there are 8) at which 3 are selected to travel resulting in 24 finalists. This competition teaches interview skills, builds self-confidence and raises awareness of European Political and Policy issues. It is aimed at helping young people prepare for their future careers. The winners are judged solely on their potential as leaders from around 1,800 applicants across Ireland.
The schools are all enthusiastic advocates of the competition and are well aware of the benefits to the students of both taking part and achieving success. We are particularly pleased that in recent years the Club's nominees(see below) have, in the main, won a coveted Euroscola place against finalists of the highest calibre. We are always delighted to welcome back to the Club the nominees to hear their report.
Congratulations to Club nominee for the Youth Leadership Development Competition 2018 Olivia Copeland, Methodist College Belfast, who at the Regional Final, hosted by the Rotary Club of Belfast East Tuesday 21 November, won a place on the 24 member all-Ireland group to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg and take part in the Euroscola Debate, March 2018. The standard of candidates this year from Methodist College and RBAI was very high. Following interviews at the schools two candidates were selected to go through to the Club Final at which Thomas Copeland from Methody was selected to represent the Club at the Regional Final in Bangor on 25 November 2015. Interestingly Thomas's brother Rory was a finalist in 2013.
Hannah Beattie, Victoria College
This Youth Development Programme started on Monday 30 January with a visit to Stormont where they met with representatives from 6 political parties followed by a visit to the EU offices in Dublin on Tuesday where they learnt about the scope of the work of the European Parliament. They travelled to Strasburg, via Frankfurt, for the Euroscola Day at the European Parliament on Thursday 02 February. When the party of 28 students from all over Ireland arrived they spent some time preparing the 6 topics that were chosen including Migration and Integration and Security and Human Rights. The students were split up into 6 working groups and mixed with other students from all over Europe to discuss the topics and present their thoughts on the policies which the EU should adopt. The party returned to Dublin on Friday 03 February.
The Club was delighted to welcome Hannah to the Club Monday 12 June. She thanked the Club for the tremendous opportunity noting that she had been delighted to be chosen and that it had been a lifetime experience. Her impressive and fluent report was very well received. Hannah gave a detailed account of the visit and advised that the group had spent a few days in Belfast and Dublin before leaving for the European Parliament on the Tuesday. Having had a tour of the city they got together the night before to work out their approach to the issues being discussed. The following day they joined up with the other students, 800 in all, from across Europe and were put into working groups.
She advised that the working group chooses a spokesperson to present the conclusions of its discussions to the participants assembled in a 'plenary sitting' in the Chamber of the European Parliament at the end of the afternoon. The participants then vote on these conclusions and revealed that not only all 6 spokespeople were Irish but that all the questions raised were from the Irish students! Ireland, she claimed, was taking over Europe; so much so that the Parliament Chairman of the day asked if there was a non Irish question. A question was then asked in German but an Irish accent gave the questioner away! She concluded advising that unusually all 6 motions were passed.
Pointing out that a group of strangers had become a very close-knit unit in a few days she thanked the Club for the tremendous opportunity to learn policies and present in front of peers.
Thomas Copeland, Methodist College
This final was keenly contested and despite a strong performance Thomas was not successful. However he was very thankful to the Club for the opportunity as were the teachers who were involved.
Divya Puri, Victoria College
Rory Copeland, Methodist College
The other successful candidates were: Lauren Graham (nominated by the Belfast East Rotary Club) and Daniel Clarke (Rotary Club of Comber).
We were delighted to welcome Rory back in September 2013 to give a talk about his trip 3-8 March 2013. Now Head Boy at Methodist College Belfast, Rory spoke of his experiences during the trip. His presentation was well researched and delivered in a most impressive manner.
He highlighted that at the group's first meeting 3 March in Jury's Inn Belfast, when they met Peter Cardwell (an alumnus of GSE) who assured them of a very exciting week. Having visited Stormont, the European Offices in Belfast and Dublin, where they received their certificates from DG Jack Cunningham, they met in Dáil Eireann Simon Harris, TD (also a former GSE alumnus).
On March 7 in Strasburg Rory was elected Chairperson of the Agricultural Committee, he presented, and defended, the Committee's proposals to all the delegates which were passed with a majority of 211. The Rotary team "left exhausted, but in high spirits having been a dominant force in proceedings from start to finish".
Rory fielded questions from those present in an equally impressive way and was thanked and complimented by President Elect Ronnie McLean for his eloquent and well put together presentation.
He thanked Rotary, the team leaders led by District Governor Nominee Philip Beggs, the Club - particularly PP Brian Ferguson, for this "extraordinary", unforgettable" and "remarkable" experience.
The pupils were interviewed at the schools by Club members Michael Ridley, Denis Wilson, PP Trevor Hinds, PP Courtenay Thompson and PE Ken Morrison and 1 was selected from each school for the Club Final with interviewers Doris Houston, PP Albert Baird and PP Gordon MIllington. The Club would like to thank all those Rotarians who assisted in this process and gave willingly of their time to carry out interviews.
His full report as published by Methodist College can be seen here...
Charlotte Higgins, Methodist College Belfast
Congratulations to Club nominee for the Youth Leadership Development Competition 2018 Olivia Copeland, Methodist College Belfast, who at the Regional Final, hosted by the Rotary Club of Belfast East Tuesday 21 November, won a place on the 24 member all-Ireland group to visit the European Parliament in Strasbourg and take part in the Euroscola Debate, March 2018.
The standard of candidates this year from Methodist College and RBAI was very high. Following interviews at the schools two candidates were selected to go through to the Club Final at which Thomas Copeland from Methody was selected to represent the Club at the Regional Final in Bangor on 25 November 2015. Interestingly Thomas's brother Rory was a finalist in 2013.