The staff of NLN Portlaoise are so proud of previous student, Kathy Seale. Whilst Kathy attended the Transition programme, she became involved with An Gaisce, the President’s Award, and received her Bronze and Silver Medals. Kathy is now on course to receive her Gold Award by the President of Ireland in December 2020, an amazing achievement. Annmarie Morrin, Transition Instructor at NLN Portlaoise, tells us about Kathy awards.


‘Having received her Bronze and Silver Medals whilst attending NLN Portlaoise, Kathy has continued on her journey with An Gaisce, the President’s Award.  Gaisce, or ‘great achievement’, is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25 that encourages them to find their passion, get active and make a difference in their community. In order to receive the Gold Medal, Kathy developed her practical skills in cooking and pyrography.   

As part of her Community Involvement Challenge, she volunteered for Vincent de Paul, the Jack and Jill Foundation, Oxfam, Irish Guide Dogs and Pieta House.  She has participated in Darkness into Light and Mini Marathons and Virtual Mini Marathans on their behalf. For her Physical Recreation Challenge, Kathy got involved with Laois Sports Partnership and has taken up soccer, basketball and attending the gym. For her Adventure Journey, Kathy participated in a hike in the Slieve Blooms with fellow students from NLN Portlaoise and NLN Tullamore where they covered 80km over the four days.

The Resident Project called for a shared activity with a group in a residential setting for five days.  Not letting Covid-19 restrictions stop her, Kathy participated in a virtual residential project on line with people from all over Ireland where they were all given a specific task to complete.  She had to learn about virtual break out rooms for group discussions through Zoom and how to create and record a slideshow so she could present her work to the Gaisce Team.  

Kathy has undertaken all the five challenges for her Gaisce Gold Medal and is a well deserving recipient of this prestigious award.  Here at NLN Portlaoise, we are all so very proud of Kathy and wish her well on her visit to meet our President in December to formally recognise her amazing achievements.  Well done Kathy!’

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