Project Children Intern Class of 2010 


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Aidan Borchers

 

Omagh College – Construction Engineering and Management

Interned at Construction NYC

 

“My internship was in New York and I was working on a construction site in Manhattan. For my internship I was laboring on a construction site. Living in America was a great experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. It has given me the urge to go back in the future. The highlight of my internship has to be the first week working for habitat for humanity in Mississippi. It was a great way to get know the other interns and it was a lot of fun working and living with them.”

 

 

Aidan Little

 

Omagh College – Industrial & Electrical Engineering

Interned at Neligan Construction

 

“On leaving Belfast International Airport you could sense the excitement of everyone in heading to the United States and for many of us it was the first time, Upon landing in Newark Airport where we met up with Tom Kinirons as well as all the other Project Children Coordinators, we then travelled to the double trees hotel where we had a great three days including a trip to the Rockefeller mansion as well as a water park. From here I went to Mississippi in the extreme heat to work with habitat for humanity, together as a team we worked for a week to produce a house. We had a great time with the group and habitat crew which was all for a great cause.

 

I then travelled to Florida to start my placement. First I met up with Max & Julie Schafer my host family who welcomed me in as one of their own on the great location of Atlantic Beach. I worked with many employers while in Florida all with different trade’s work which was valuable. A surprise trip to Washington D.C for the 4th was a great outing we got to see the famous landmarks such as The Whitehouse and the Lincoln Memorial as well as seeing the fireworks spectacle to conclude Independence Day. My internship and time with Project Children has been a great adventure and I hope I get to do it all again in the near future.”

 

 

Aine Gallagher

 

University of Ulster – Business & Marketing

Interned at Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA), Dallas

 

“I worked with the Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA) in Dallas, Texas and had the most amazing summer of my life. This company along with the Dallas Directory plans and produces various festivals throughout the North Texas region. I gained invaluable work experience from this internship dealing with everything from administration roles and marketing projects, to fundraising and working the events, the largest event attracting over 100,000 people.

 

Everyone at the office where I worked were such good fun to work with and also took us to many attractions in Dallas including the Dallas World Aquarium, the Stockyards in Fort Worth (where real Cowboys hang out), and they also organized a VIP Tour of the Cowboys Football Stadium. Through this Internship opportunity I have met so many amazing people, and made some long lasting friendships. It’s definitely a summer I will not forget.”

 

 

Andrew McMaster

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Law

Interned at the Constituency Office of Congressman King

 

“I would strongly recommend this program to everyone thinking of applying, from a professional point of view a summer of gaining work experience in the USA is a fantastic thing to put on your C.V and can be invaluable in attracting employers. Even while on the program I was given interviews for different jobs that I don’t believe I would have been made had it not been for the international experience of working in a Congressman’s office.

 

During my internship I had responsibilities for assisting the Congressman’s professional staff with administrative and correspondence duties including: assisting with Constituent casework involving Federal Agencies; fielding office phone calls; assisting constituents with information; compiling daily news articles of interest from media sources; helping organize events for Constituents in Washington D.C; keeping general awareness of issues facing Congress and specifically understanding Congressman King’s key legislative priorities and any issues which would impact upon these.

 

Away from the work side of things the entire summer was a fantastic experience. I got to visit some of the best cities in the world, experience a different culture, was welcomed by unbelievable hospitality everywhere I went and made new friends along the way. I would like to thank Vincent Mcgreevy for hosting me for the summer and for being so welcoming. I couldn’t have been placed with a better guy and he’s one of the main reasons my time in the USA was such a great experience.”

 

 

Carl Hughes

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Business & I.T

Interned at Broome County Catholic Charities and Services

 

 

“My name is Carl Hughes and Im a graduate from Queens University Ireland. I was selected to be part of the project children program. Project children are trying to bridge the divide between the Catholic and Protestant communities are home in Northern Ireland. We are representing the older generation of Project children, we are trying to lead the way for the youth of our communities into a better future by showing them how we Protestants and Catholics can live and work together in peace.

 

I consider my self extremely lucky for getting the opportunity to be part of the project children program. I have met a lot of American friends and Business contacts. This has honestly been a life changing experience for me, it has equipped me for the challenges I will experience in life through out my working career. I now feel more confident and know that there is nothing stopping me from achieving all my goals in life.”

 

 

Catrina Hollran

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Psychology

Interned at Employment Horizons

 

 

“For my internship with Project Children I am working at Employment Horizons. It is a place that provides work and training to people with physical and mental disabilities. At university I study Psychology and I learn about different mental illnesses and learning disabilities, due to this I know the theory; I know the causes, the symptoms and the treatments but in practice it is completely different. This internship showed me the reality behind mental illness and how people cope with it. It showed me how disabilities affect people and how they can easily overcome any disability they have.

 

I learnt a lot in the 8 weeks I was there, from dealing with epileptic fits to how to communicate with someone who cannot hear or speak. An added bonus was that Employment Horizons is a factory producing many different products, I learnt about production lines, suppliers and quality control, I also learnt about human resources and how a business is run. These business skills will help me throughout my life in any job. Everyone at Employment Horizons was friendly and helpful, at times it was difficult but it was also very rewarding. Working with disabilities or mental illness is not easy but I loved the internship and it has really inspired me to work with people with disabilities in the future.”

 

 

Christopher Currie

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Business I.T

Interned at Michael Stapleton Associates, New York 

 

 

“Michael Stapleton Associates (MSA) is a high tech security firm based in New York City. For my internship I was working in the IT department of the company. During this time I was giving the opportunity to work on individual projects in the office, as well as venturing out on service calls to provide maintenance to client’s machines. I believe that through doing this internship I have greatly improved a number of my skills which will be beneficial me when seeking employment after university.

 

My host family was amazing; they honestly could not do enough for me. I have made lots of great friends and I will always have many fond memories of New York City, working and just hanging out at weekends. Project Children’s Intern Program has given me the opportunity of a lifetime and for this I will be forever grateful to them.”

 

 

Ciaran O’Shiel

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Law

Interned at Harry Kutner, Esq.

 

“To be honest, when I first applied for my internship, I had only one thing on my mind – if I am lucky enough to gain a place, it will look great on my CV. As a result I did not even give a second thought to what the experience would be like as a whole or what it could entail. From the first day however, I realized that I had landed on my feet; not only was I given the opportunity to work in a highly respected law firm within New York, I was without a doubt given the best host family in Long island (watch out for the Gallaghers, they know how to have more fun than us interns!).

 

During my legal internship I had responsibility for conducting research, preparing reports on depositions, cases and deals, as well as drafting letters, judgments and subpoenas. Other duties included organizing meetings, talking with clients, assisting when preparing witness’ for trial, participating in jury selection, attending court on a daily basis and liaising with other Defense and District Attorney’s. I could not speak highly enough about those behind the scenes of Project Children and the level of support that was available throughout my time here was exceptional. Not only has the internship helped me to develop my skills set on a professional level, but also on a personal one as I have meet some incredible people. I am forever grateful”

 

 

Conor Kearney

 

Queen’s University Belfast - Environmental Planning

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey 

 

“My internship working with Kids Corporation has been a fantastic experience and a life changing seven weeks. At first it was hard to become accustomed to the remoteness of camp life. This quickly changed as the opportunity kids camp provides to children of Newark to leave the city for the day, some of which for the first time, and experience a rural environment filled with flora and fauna is a terrific scheme. At the end of the day it is clear that the work we carry out with these kids is making a difference to their lives and this is gratifying knowing that our time in America has been spent making a difference.

 

Life in America has been terrific as it has given me the opportunity to experience a new culture, meet many new friends and learn many things about myself. Working with co-councilors has improved many of my life skills such as my ability to work within a team. Such skills will prove invaluable when I seek employment in the future. The overall experience has been excellent. I am thankful to project children for giving me the opportunity to come to America for seven weeks and am thankful for their support throughout my stay in America.”

 

 

 

Darren McBrien

 

Omagh College – Industrial & Electrical Engineering

Interned at Putrelo Construction, New York 

 

“The initial week of my internship was spent Building a house in Mississippi for Habitat for Humanity. The house provided a family affected by hurricane Katrina with affordable accommodation; I feel proud to have contributed to such a prestigious organization. My placement was with Putrelo Construction based in upstate New York which is involved primarily in large scale commercial projects. My job involved assisting the project managers who were working hard to complete school additions before opening term, this involved modifying site drawings, producing estimations and contacting suppliers.

 

 I learnt a lot about the day to day running of construction projects and also gained an insight into the Management of a large business from the company president whom I assisted for a number of weeks. I feel extremely fortunate to have been given such an opportunity as I met lots of inspirational people who provided me with valuable work experience and have increased my personal development.

 

My work colleagues and host family made my stay all the more enjoyable by organizing multiple outings at the weekends including an action packed camping trip. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to making this once in a lifetime opportunity available.”

 

David Sproule

 

Omagh College – Industrial & Electrical Engineering 

Interned at McGowan Builders, New York

 

“During my time here in America I worked for McGowan Builders, in the construction office of the Dream Downtown Hotel, a multi hundred million dollar hotel, I was involved in the general office work as well as working out on site doing site measurements and inspections. I spent most of my time in the office. I was given quite a bit of responsibility which I handled well.

 

My host family was very welcoming and I soon settled in, the entire family circle were very friendly and I got on well with them, the house itself was very nice and one of the best host family’s to live with I think.

 

The week we spent in Mississippi for habitat for humanity was the best, I had such a good time and it was such a great experience, to give something back, and help other people whose lives have been ruined by a natural disaster, it gave such a sense of achievement to see what we could accomplish after just one week, I just wish I could have stayed there for maybe 4 weeks of the internship. The weekend in Washington dc was very enjoyable, to see all the monuments and all the celebrations.”

 

 

Eamonn Morgan

 

Liverpool University – Teaching

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

“Having spent eight weeks in America, it is safe to say that this has been one of the best experiences of my life. It all started in New Orleans where I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to help rebuild a home after the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. This was a moving experience and one which was lots of fun.

 

From then, I moved north to New Jersey where I worked as part of Kids Corporation. After my initial concerns about the remoteness of the camp, I soon realized the great work of Kids Corporation and what they do for the children of Newark.  The kids were mostly from a deprived background, were given the opportunity to leave the city for a day and forget about the worries of city life.  Social barriers were broken down and friendships rekindled through the wide range of activities. It soon became clear to me the positive work I was doing as a camp counselor to make a difference in the lives of these children.

 

Project children has given me the opportunity to meet lots of new friends and experience a range of different cultures whilst also making it possible to catch up with family and friends in the US. I will never forget our stories at Kids Camp and the fun filled adventures with the other interns around Washington, NYC and New Orleans.  I would like to thank Project Children for giving me such an opportunity. This is defiantly an invaluable life experience which has helped me grow and develop in my field of work and as a person.”

 

 

Eimhear Lusby

 

Queen’s University Belfast– Medicine

Interned at Sound Shore Medical Center

  

"Spending 8 weeks in New York is an opportunity of a lifetime. Coming to the US with Project Children has enabled me to experience first-hand how real New Yorkers live! I have had the chance to explore many areas both in the city and in New York State, and I have loved every minute of it. A personal highlight was the trip to Washington on the 4th of July weekend. In addition I have met many great people, both Irish and American, and I hope these new found friendships will be long-lasting."

 

Grainne Keogh

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Architecture

Interned at Durr Mechanical Construction Inc

 

“In excitement I came to America. It was a once in a lifetime chance to live and work in one of the most influential cities of the world.

 

As a newly graduated architecture student, working on site on a major project allowed me to understand how the construction industry works in practice. The process of drawings being fabricated and then installed was fascinating to watch. It allowed me to understand the importance of my own drawings and how their legibility can effect the success or failure of a design. I discovered the deep importance between understanding and implementation. Information and communication is the most valuable asset to a team. My experience in systems information taught me how to organize drawings into systems of distribution. The quality of a system can determine the quality of the finished product.

 

Living in New York taught me independence and self preservation. It gave me the confidence to know that I could navigate one of the largest cities in the world, by train, bus, subway, ferry or car. Mississippi was one of the best weeks of my life. The hard work was rewarding and gratifying. Seeing how even a small group of twenty could make such a massive difference to an individual and a community reminded me of the strength of the collective. When compassionate, kind and willed people can do anything

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These are all valuable lessons; I however found something far more life defining whilst in America, the dearest of friends. I now know that people and your relationships with them are the most precious things in the world and no money, power or knowledge could ever come close to the their importance. It is only through others that we may gain true happiness.”

 

Jamie Sweeney

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Communication, Advertising & Marketing

Interned at LLC/ International

 

“As it is my last week in America I am currently looking forward to the weekend that will be spent in New York City with the rest of the Project Children interns. As well as enjoying every minute of this opportunity, I feel that I gained so much experience through my marketing internship with Unateresa Gormley. Life in Greenwood Lake is much slower pace compared to that at home, especially at college in Belfast, which was very refreshing. I feel that I got the best of both worlds however, with work bringing us into the Manhattan regularly.

 

I love the buzz, and the realization that you never know what to expect any day or who you will meet. I had the opportunity to meet many influential and inspiring business people, visit Washington DC for the 4th July and get to know the other interns, who I will definitely be keeping in close contact with. This has been, without doubt, the most amazing opportunity I have ever received, and the best summer I have yet had. I am extremely grateful for being given this chance, to not only have the summer of a lifetime but also a chance to give myself much needed work experience and a competitive edge in the extremely difficult job market.”

 

 

Jason Gallagher

 

Queen’s University Belfast – History

Interned at the Irish Examiner, New York

 

“Within a week of starting my internship the importance and value of it really hit home. I had already improved a number of skills needed in journalism and had been sent on interviews around the city. I learnt that by just keeping your ears alert in the office, you can learn a great deal of inside information and knowledge that would be impossible to get in the classroom of a Masters degree-something I am looking to study for.

 

Although the trip is primarily to cater for future careers, the internship has allowed me to experience the varied cultures of America. Within the last 5 weeks I have been in 6 states including major cities such as Boston, New Orelans, Washington D.C. and New York. You might expect each city to have very similar attributes to the next but that isn't the case. No matter how close the cities might be to each other, they have struck me as being different in every way. The architecture, ethnic diversity, culture, politeness of the people, and even the smell (which is most obvious on the streets of New York City) are the main differences I found.

 

My favourite places have been Boston and Washington D.C.. Leaving the hustle and bustle of New York City behind came as a surprised welcome, I noticed whilst walking through the streets. I thought the two cities were far more accessible than NYC for a tourist interested in seeing as many sights as possible, and being a history student, the cities definitely had a broader historical past than the Big Apple.”

 

 

Joanne Mailey

 

University of Ulster – Business Studies

Interned at Turning Stone Resort

 

“My internship was based on the operational side of the business. I got to shadow the front desk, tennis, housekeeping and accommodation. I attended manager meetings and had customer interaction. All the manager's explained their duties and let me get involved and help them. American life was very different to what I am used to. I found the culture change very interesting. I enjoyed their sporting culture and how celebrity mad they were. America just seems to have a bigger version of everything. My favorite memory would have been the placement I got. Turning Stone was an amazing place and I was welcomed with open arms. They really went out of their way to make sure I was happy and understood what was going on”

 

 

Laura Carr

 

University College Dublin - Marketing

Interned at urning Stone Resort

 

“My experience of the whole Project Children Internship Program has truly been memorable. From being part of the program 2010 I have learnt so much, made loads of amazing new friends and gained unbelievably valuable work experience. Thanks to the hard work of the organizers my placement couldn’t have been more perfect for me. I did my internship in Turning Stone Casino in Verona New York. From the moment I started my internship everyone was so welcoming and eager to make sure that I took away as much as possible from the internship. I had already decided that Marketing was the route I was going to take after completing my finals. So the HR Department at Turning Stone made sure that I was very much involved in all the marketing aspects of the Casino, which involved web design, graphic design, online marketing and event planning.

 

Not only did I love my placement but Kerry Costello who I stayed with and her family were so hospitable and made me feel like part of the family. Some of the many trips that I went on with Kerry and her family were to Old Forge, Syracuse and to an Irish festival. It also can’t go unmentioned the lovely meals that Kerry’s mum made during my stay. Thanks to Kerry who made sure I had an all American experience, I got to play in her volley ball league twice a week and I also got to experience my first ever bon fire. I have so many happy memories from the whole experience I couldn’t possible pick a favorite, I really did enjoy every aspect of the whole Internship Program and that is all down to the organizers & coordinators of Project Children, those who donate to the Program, the intern group of 2010 who are now friends, Kerry & The Costello family and those who spoke to us in both Washington & New York about conflict resolution. So I just want to Thank you all again for an unforgettable summer.”

 

   

Lauren Donnelly

 

University of Ulster - Communication, Advertising & Marketing 

Interned at Travel Leaders

 

“I undertook my internship in Travel Leaders Plymouth in south west Michigan. My role involved many different marketing tasks including gathering research and creating valuable information for a marketing campaign. I was also involved in other administrative tasks such as organizing customer itineraries and documents and generally assisting clients. I found this experience really enjoyable and I feel I gained a valuable insight in to the different business culture between the USA and home. 

 

Over the summer we managed to travel a lot visiting loads of different places with both our host family and Project Children. We visited New York, Washington, Cincinnati, Detroit and Chicago so we were always busy and had a great time seeing a lot of the states! I am so grateful for my host family making us feel so welcome and all the Project Children sponsors for making this possible. It has been an amazing and unforgettable experience!”

 

  

Leigh Ferris

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Law  

Interned at Binghamton City Court

 

“Completing the Project Children Internship Program has been one of the most enjoyable and fulfilling experiences of my life thus far. Working with Habitat for Humanity on the first week was extremely fitting and placed into perspective the great opportunity we have been granted. Not only did I learn to appreciate the value of work ethic and the satisfaction one can gain from helping others, but I developed many lasting friendships; an ethos Project Children has built itself around for decades.

 

Participation in several conflict resolution conferences in Washington also gave us the opportunity to openly discuss how to progress peacefully as a community in Ireland. It was at this point I realized Project Children seek not only to provide internships for aspiring students, but are concerned on a more national scale with the social progression of young adults in a country once burdened with religious and political division.

 

I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship in Binghamton, New York and have became a much more motivated and well-rounded individual as a result. And for this reason we must pay tribute to the tremendous effort from Project Children to ensure each intern matures personally and can take away experiences that will be of vital importance in any aspect of life.”

 

Louise McCann

 

University College Dublin     Commerce Spec. Finance 

Interned at LLC/ International

 

“I have taken part in a marketing internship with USG International Dance Presents. This internship provided me with the opportunity to meet many people from a diverse industry background. I have thoroughly enjoyed the chance to improve on my communication and marketing skills. During my internship I also took part in a build with Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi which was truly an unforgettable experience, which I would absolutely recommend. The week spent in Mississippi was sincerely a major highlight of my time in America, which was only enhanced by the supportive network of chaperones that accompanied us.

 

Another highlight was spending the 4th of July in Washington DC and I’m genuinely grateful for the work and time that the Project Children Coordinators put into organizing these trips and making our internship even more enjoyable. I am also very thankful for the Gormley’s, my host family. Not only did they welcome us with open arms, but went out of their way to make us feel at home, which the strong Tyrone accent helped with! I’m delighted that I was able to take part in the program, through which I have met so many people, both from home and the US. I commend the work that the Project Children does and hope that participants in the future will enjoy their time as much as I have.”

 

 

Lyndon Madden

 

Stranmillis Teaching College – Teaching  

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

"I started my time in America at New Orleans, Louisiana building homes with Habitat for Humanity. I was astonished by the poverty and devastation that is still left over from Hurricane Katrina and it really opened my eyes to things I thought I would never experience. I was lucky enough with the help of Project Children to construct a house for those affected by Hurricane Katrina.

 

I never realized how much I took for granted in life, be it a roof over my head, dinner on the table, or even just the love of my family and friends. Most of the children that have come into my life from being at camp don’t have the kind of life every child should have; one filled with love and care. If I make a difference in just one life, then I have completed my goal. Just because these children are from a certain area, they are summed up into a statistic. From my experience, I’ve noticed that every child is different and they are so eager to learn and absorb love. I will never forget the work we all have done here at Kids Camp. It has forever changed my life."

 

 

Maria McManus

 

Napier University - Marketing MGMT & French 

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

"After spending 7 weeks in America I have realized how much I appreciate this opportunity. Living at camp has taught me so much about nature, people from different cultures and most of all I have made such great friends. Working with kids everyday is challenging but very rewarding and will stand me in good stead for the rest of my life. Living at camp has also made me realize life can go on without technologies we didn't even have a TV yet we had the time of our lives. The American way of life especially in New Jersey seems a lot more laidback than that in Ireland which is refreshing. Finally, project children has bettered my job prospects my CV and given me the opportunity of a lifetime and I would love to do it again."

 

 

Matthew Ferris

 

University of Ulster – Optometry

Interned at Keystone Athletic Soccer Camp 

 

“My internship consisted of working with a regional soccer club for players ranging from 5 years old up to 20. The club has around 50 teams for different age groups so I helped out in the office in checking the deliveries and sorting out the correct kits and training gear for the specific teams. In the evenings I helped coach in a soccer development program for children between 5 and 10 years old, as well as being involved in older teams training sessions during the week. I also had the chance to play for the clubs under 20 team, in the last 4 games of their season which was a different experience and one I really enjoyed.

 

Initially the sheer size of everything and the mass of population in a relatively small town came as a bit of a shock but I didn’t take long to adapt and my host family were extremely welcoming which made it a lot easier. It was interesting to witness the different lifestyle and culture, and in working with the soccer club I was made aware of the fees and costs around someone of my age playing sports. This, coupled with how far some players have to travel to be part of a team was a massive surprise and a big difference in comparison with life back home.

 

My favorite memory was being at a Dave Matthews concert at the Mets baseball stadium. It was bigger than any concert I've been to previously, where every single person was standing which created an unforgettable atmosphere. I had never heard him play until I went to America so to say this was my fondest memory from my time there shows how good the concert actually was!”

 

 

Michael Matthews

 

University of Ulster – Interactive Multimedia Design

Interned at Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA), Dallas

 

"For my Project Children internship I was working with the SCMA and Dallas Directory in Dallas, Texas. I mainly worked on media projects relating to marketing for both the SCMA and Dallas Directory, creating various websites and media material. I also worked on site at the Taste of Dallas Festival in Fair Park. It was two day event promoting various food vendors in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Life in America was amazing and really made me consider my future career and life after University. I really want to make it back in the near future and think I will try to secure a year internship next year, hopefully with a design company.

 

During my time in America I couldn't have asked anymore from Project Children. The arranged meetings and trips really bonded our group as well as allowing us to see so much of the US hassle free. Celebrating the 4th of July in the capital with the American people really was a once in a life time opportunity for many of us. The various meetings and seminars in New York were really rewarding and we all made some really good connections for our future careers. For me a highlight was the week working with Habitat for Humanity. It really bonded our group and made me feel as if I was making a difference in someone’s life."

 

Michaela Cusack

 

University of Ulster – Community Youth Work

Interned at The Connection INC

 

"Project Children provided me with the opportunity to spend the summer of 2010 in America and for this I am truly grateful, especially as this is my first visit to the States. Throughout my stay Project Children arranged for us all to visit Washington DC over the 4th of July weekend which was a very good experience and I became better acquainted with the other interns and the Project Children Coordinators over this weekend. The people in the office I was placed in for my internship were extremely welcoming and made me feel at home right away amongst them."

 

Michaela Esler

 

University of Ulster – History with Education

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

"The time I have spent in the States and at camp has been the most fulfilling experience of my life. Initially when I had arrived at camp I was apprehensive because the rustic and more natural environment compared to that of the town I live in, in Northern Ireland. The opportunity to work with children has been invaluable for my future career as a teacher and without the opportunity that Project Children has provided me with I would just be another student trying to get a teaching job.

 

My time spent in America would not have been the same without the support of my directors and co-counselors because if I had any queries or was having a hard time everyone would more than happily give me support and guidance and this in turn enhanced the whole experience of living and working on camp. The work that Kids Corp and Project Children carry out is unmatched in my opinion for helping the youth of today and I am so appreciative for the chance to work with both organizations."

 

 

Michal Harkin  

 

Queen’s University Belfast – History & Politics

Interned at the Office of Assembly Man Phil Boyle

 

"I was interning in the Bay Shore office of a New York State Assemblyman, Phil Boyle.  Being involved in the day to day running of the office, indeed running to office by myself for a week, I was responding to constituent enquires and complaints regarding a wide range of issues, from road maintenance, to issues with the State budget and even issues over abortion.  I believe my work placement provided me with a unique view of a cross section of American society, and the issues affecting American citizens in their day to day lives.

 

Also, this being an election year, I was also able to experience how the American Political system, from a federal to a state level works, and how the elections here are run, something rather different from the process we have at home.  The best part, by far of the whole experience is living with in commuting distance to New York City, unreal.  Whether its sight seeing at the weekend, or sunning yourself on the beach, or the night life, the social aspect was great.  The trip to Washington DC on the 4th of July weekend, when all the Interns on the program went, was by far the Highlight of the trip."

 

 

Olivia Downey  

 

Queen’s University Belfast – Law

Interned at Morris County Prosecutor's Office

 

"My experience in America has been unbelievable. I came out very excited to get stuck in to my internship. I worked in the Prosecutors Office in New Jersey. We saw lots of great stuff; my favorite day at work was the trip to the Bomb Squad and the K9 unit. We also watched a polygraph test and had Q&A sessions with the criminal judges. I feel much more motivated now and have a real sense of what I’ll do with my future.

 

One my favorite experiences was staying with my host family. It gave me the chance to live the real American life. My family was so welcoming and so kind and I will never forget the amazing summer they gave me. One weekend they took me to New York to watch Wicked on Broadway. Another weekend my family invited other interns to stay and we hung out all weekend. I always got to go somewhere new for dinner, I've tried so many new foods its unreal! PC also organized a trip to Washington over the 4th July and I also went to Philadelphia. I'll never forget the wonderful opportunity Project Children gave me; it’s hard to describe just what a brilliant experience this has been!"

 

Orla Clarke

 

University of Ulster

Interned at the International Minute Press

 

The past eight weeks have been nothing short of brilliant. I came to Michigan not really knowing what to expect and since then have made it to nearly 10 states! Every week has brought something new to do and more people to meet.

 

Having been a little apprehensive about living with strangers in a foreign country, I could not have felt any more welcome in my host family's home. My host family has been the key guide to helping me see as much of America as possible in just a couple of weeks.

 

The opportunity that Project Children has given me is one that I will never forget. I have made life long friends from both home and America. It's an experience I wouldn't change for the world! I encourage absolutely every student who wants to travel to apply as it is an opportunity not to be missed! Likewise, the professional experience that the internships offer is a great stepping stone to the big bad world of full time work!

 

 

Owen Reid

 

Omagh College - Architectural Technology

Interned at Neligan Construction

 

During my internship in America with project children I worked on several different projects, both for Habitat for Humanity and within construction and architecture. My time in Mississippi with Habitat taught me the rewards of helping others and helped us as a group to feel like we were giving back to others who were in greater need than us. The sense of achievement I felt when we completed a house in just five days is unforgettable and the experience itself was thoroughly enjoyable. My placement was in Florida, where i split my time between working in various construction jobs and visiting architects who discussed their different projects with me and how they differ between countries.

 

My host family and co-coordinator were very welcoming and treated me as one of their family. While in Florida my family made sure I saw all Florida had to offer including its beaches. We had several trips, such as our trip to Washington DC for the 4th of July celebrations, sightseeing in New York and trips to Baseball games where we were able to experience American culture in different ways. In a relatively short space of time Project Children helped me to see different parts of America and what it had to offer, leaving me with memories that I will always treasure and experiences I would never otherwise had the chance to have.

 

 


Peter Carleton

 

University of Ulster

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

When describing the last 2 months, the words life changing come to mind every time, from the people that I have grown to live with to the new group of children that I see everyday. At soon as we walked of the plane we had been dropped into the deep end. The time here has opened my eyes and when I think back to the first time that I had a group of children I wondered how I could have been so afraid. 

 

I have been tested so much over the summer, from holding the 10 pound brick over my head in a swimming pool for a minute to the 10 kids that wanted help going over a 8 foot wall and now I put it all down to experience. America in all has been amazing, lying on the beach at Jersey Shore and seeing the Washington monument I have experienced it all. But in all I have to bring my experience back to the diversity of the people that I have became life long friends with, I do not think that I could get closer to a better group of people.

 

 

Ryan Roberts

 

Queen's University Belfast - History & English

Interned at USG LLC/International

 

Many University students get the opportunity to visit New York, Washington, even New Orleans, but few get the chance to live there. Project Children allowed me to fully experience all aspects of American culture. This included the first week of the internship which gave 22 of the interns, including myself, the unique opportunity to participate in the Habitat for Humanity program in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi. Knowing that we would be unlikely to receive the chance to work on a project such as this again, made it all the more memorable. Our appreciation of the hospitality and the openness of the Bay Waveland Area community provided the impetus to work that much harder to achieve their goal, despite the harsh conditions. 

 

The internship itself was also a great experience, and we were often stunned by the generosity of our host family, who so easily opened their home to us. The work we had undertaken provided many chances which we would not have been able to participate in had it not have been for project children. Throughout my marketing internship I was able to participate in a range of meetings through the Irish Business Organization including the Irish Tourist Board, the Irish Consulate, Fitzpatrick's Manhattan Hotel and Conde Nast. Overall, the experience was a worthwhile one, Project Children will give you the most memorable summer of your life. 

 


 

Sarah Grant

 

Queen's University Belfast - Law

Interned at Morris County Prosecutors Office

 

Having had friends who where previous alumni, I initially thought I understood what I would gain from the project children program. However, this summer has exceeded my expectations in everyway possible. Professionally, my internship at the Prosecutors Office in New Jersey provided me with invaluable training. I had never been exposed to such an interesting breadth of case law or had been given so much advice and direction by attorneys and members of the judiciary on the best way to pursue my legal career. 

 

The internship has motivated me to take the New York Bar and has made me determined to practice law in America. I loved every second of this internship and I would strongly encourage anyone to apply. The generosity of the program and the opportunities offered by it is completely unique.  From the co-coordinators to the host families and volunteers, their hard work and kindness is remarkable. One of my highlights of the trip was the house build for Habitat for Humanity in Mississippi. This was incredibly humbling and rewarding experience and I am delighted to have been a part of it. Seeing the 4th of July fireworks in Washington D.C with the other interns was another high point made possible by the program.

 

Finally, I was incredibly lucky to stay with a wonderful family who welcomed me into their home and treated me as one of their own.  I am extremely grateful to them and I know they will be part of my life for a long time. 

 

 

Sinead Lavin

 

NIU Maynooth - English & Geography

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

This summer I was given the opportunity of an internship in Kids Camp in New Jersey.  I found this placement to be beneficial as I would like to be a secondary school teacher when I leave college.  It has been a pleasure to work with the kids as they love coming to the camp. I can easily say that this has been a summer to remember; it has been a great experience to work with the kids, and it will also be beneficial in the future.  Kids Camp really makes a difference for these kids, as they have the chance to leave behind the pressures of Newark city life.  They do many activities during the day which they usually do not have the chance to do in Newark, e.g. swimming and hiking. 

 

Throughout my time here I have also had the opportunity to go to Washington D.C. which was fantastic.  I have also visited Greenwood Lake, Jersey Shore and New York which was amazing.  I will always remember the people here as I have made some great friends. 

 

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Project Children for their constant support throughout the trip and for the sheer opportunity to spend my summer here in America. In particular I would like to thank Denis Mulcahy of Project Children and Joe Tighe of Kids Camp. 

 

 

Sorcha Crilly

 

University of Ulster - Interior Design

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

 

On my first day at camp I was convinced I would not last a week. I was afraid of walking over the grass because there were so many bugs and the thought of hiking alone in a forest with a group of ten kids and having an encounter with a bear was not something I was prepared for. However the changes in just two months are amazing. 

 

From my experience I feel I have learned life long lessons and gained life long friends. I feel I have learnt the most from the kids that visited each day. They have made my experience one that I will never forget and hope that we at kids’ camp have made an impact in their lives and on their future.

 

 


Stacey Dillon

 

Queen's University Belfast - Architecture

Interned at Durr Mechanical Construction INC

 

Returning this year on an internship was an amazing experience. Being able to help out with the interns and build upon my experience from the previous year on my internship was a huge privilege. Habitat for Humanity was definitely a highlight for me. Getting to build a house with my own hands was at times challenging especially with the heat and humidity but it was the emotional side that I could never have prepared for. Even years after the devastation of Katrina as you drive through the streets of Mississippi it is evident that the stairs leading to nowhere was at one time not only leading to a house but someone’s home, helping us to understand the emotional effect the hurricane really had. Meeting the local people and hearing their personal stories was at times difficult but eye opening. To be given the ability by Project Children and Habitat for Humanity  to make such a difference in someone’s life was unforgettable an a memorable experience. 

 

Being part of the American culture in such an amazing city as Washington for the 4th of July and spending the last weekend with the interns in New York City was definitely the highlight for all the interns. Continuing my internship with Durr Mechanical opened my eyes to how amazing the project i worked on really was and provided many future opportunities for me including future employment. Being able to work on a multi billion dollar project and in such a hands on placement has provided me with invaluable work experience and knowledge for my future career. I leave the summer with a new found set of goals and ambitions and for that i would like to thank both Project Children for my internship and the Mulcahy Family for continuing to treat me like part of the family. 

 

All the interns have left America gaining such an invaluable experience, many friendships and ready to embark on our future. With ambition and belief in ourselves that Project Children has helped to build, and for this we are all very grateful.

 



Suzanne Okane

 

University of Ulster -  Interactive Multimedia Design

Interned at Kennedy Computer Consultants

 

My experience in America is one I will never forget, I have learnt more than I have ever dreamed of regarding my encounters with different societies and ways of life as well as the traits I found in myself throughout my stay. I have met a vast amount of wonderful people to which I know I will be able to call friends for the rest of my life. In my Placement with Tom Kennedy Computer Consultancy I have learnt a great amount that will lend itself perfectly in furthering my computer skills and it will be extremely beneficial in my search for employment in the near future.

 

Within the project I had once in a life time opportunities such as the Group trip to Washington DC for the 4th of July weekend where we got to meet other interns from Washington Ireland as well as some historic sightseeing. My time in American was a balance of work and of course fun where I had my free time to take trips to New York City and see the way in which other people live and Work.

 

I am very grateful towards Project Children Intern scheme and to my Host family (Eileen and Tom Kennedy) for this opportunity; it has been very rewarding and valuable towards my social and educational skills.