As America prepares for crucial mid-term elections, two Donegal students Mícheál Gallagher and Rachel Breslin, currently in University College Dublin will join a class of 30 student participants representing Northern Ireland and Ireland in Washington, DC, this summer as part of the Washington-Ireland Program (WIP).
WIP is a cross-community and cross border organisation that identifies promising young people with a commitment to service and a track record of leadership. WIP builds their skills through work experience, educational opportunity and hands on citizenship both at home and in the US.
In a year of notable global events, the Washington Ireland Program also has cause to celebrate. 2014 marks the twentieth anniversary of the programme and WIP will be holding a series of events on both sides of the Atlantic to celebrate this milestone.
The application process for the WIP Class of 2014 was highly competitive with over four hundred students from across the island and Great Britain competing for the opportunity to take part in the programme. After the completion of the Washington semester, the graduates will go on to become part of the active WIP alumni network who are working to make a positive difference in their communities.
Mícheál Gallagher, originally from Downings and educated in Loreto Milford says: “I’m honored to have been selected for the programme and looking forward to the challenge. Washington DC sure is a long way from Donegal!”
Rachel Breslin, originally from Bundoran and educated in Magh Ene College says: “The Washington Ireland Program offers unique opportunities for development through experiencing professional and political life in Washington DC and the program’s leadership education. I am delighted to be part of the class of 2014 and look forward to experiencing the fun and challenges with my classmates from Ireland and Northern Ireland.”
Hillary Clinton is one of a number of influential supporters of the Washington Ireland Program and its students:
“Many of WIP’s alumni are now emerging a “Many of WIP’s alumni are now emerging as a new generation ofleaders committed to peace, stability and prosperity in both Northern Ireland and the Republic.”
If you would like to track the progress of Mícheál, Rachel and others this summer you can follow their blogs and view photos at www.wiprogram.org.