Class of 2022

Dean Carragher

Habitat for Humanity, Colorado

My internship experience began in Dublin airport where I met Nigel Lynskey. After the fourteen of us arrived at New York we took photos, and everyone went their separate ways to meet their new host families. However, Nigel and I proceeded onto Denver, Colorado in what was a long and tedious flight. We were collected at the airport by our hosts Anthony and Darlene Massey. We were fortunate enough to have two weeks off before starting our jobs with Habitat for Humanity. These two weeks allowed me to really get to know my hosts and Nigel as well as to climatize to the higher altitude and arid environment. During these two weeks we did a lot of sightseeing and hiking. Our host Anthony has a passion for hiking and has summited all 55 peaks over 14,000 in the Rocky Mountain range. I really enjoyed hiking as the scenery was like nothing I had ever seen at home. Habitat for Humanity has the belief that everyone deserves a decent place to live. They achieve this goal through creating safe and affordable housing and home ownership programmes. Flatirons Habitat for Humanity was founded in 1993 and since then has provided more than 100 families with a safe place to call home. Boulder is a wealthy city, and I was shocked that 50% of people in the city spent more than 30% of their income on housing and that 30% of people spent more than 50% of their income on housing. Including myself and Nigel there are 3 other full time site workers with Habitat for Humanity, Linda, Utah, and Brendan. We worked Tuesday to Saturday with volunteers helping on a Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday. I really enjoyed the blend of staff only and volunteer days, it allowed me to gain a valuable insight into American construction methods as well as improving my ability to work as a team member and coordinate others. Nigel and I spent our first week testing a building for air tightness and sealing any gaps we saw. After this week we moved to another site that just had its foundation poured I enjoyed this site more as we got a more hands on experience. The Director of Construction, Linda, was very good at letting Nigel and I watch on-site demonstrations of different aspects of the build, such as how to construct and seal a window opening or how to insert rim joists and mudsills. These demonstrations ensured I had the knowledge and confidence required to aid the volunteers when they had queries. I really enjoyed the demonstrations as it created the perfect opportunity for asking questions and made me feel like a valued member of the team. Aside from work, our host family Anthony and Darlene were brilliant for bringing us to different places and events as well as introducing us to many Irish friends of his along the way. One of my favourite events was a rodeo in Cheyenne. This summer has been an experience that I will never forget, and I would like to thank Denis Mulcahy, Catherine Flood and Anthony Massey along with the countless others who has made this such a memorable experience.

Órna Colton.

USGLLC/International the Arts & Sports Division, New York

This summer has been one that we all dream of, the one that seems to grow more perfect with retrospect. Nerves were quickly flattened upon meeting the Mulcahy family and Unateresa who were unbelievably welcoming and made us all feel at home. It was a summer of learning, new things, new people, and being immersed in the American culture and way of life. As an Irish dancer, you are never too far from home, and helping Unateresa at her dance class kept me connected to my roots and eased some of the homesickness that I felt at the beginning of my trip. I met so many aspiring young dancers and hope that I inspired them to work hard and chase their dreams. I was afforded the opportunity to work through social media promoting the New York Rose of Tralee and the Florida Rose of Tralee. It was amazing to see so many young women take part and hear their stories, which have inspired and encouraged me to be the best I can be every day. I also got to see the work that the Irish American Young leaders do, sending children to Ireland to experience the Irish way of life and develop an appreciation of their role as global citizens. This is a fabulous organisation that aims to instil a sense of confidence, commitment, and empathy that defines the Irish American spirit and success. Of course, with hard work comes rewards and one of the many highlights of this trip was going to a New York Yankees game with Seanie Mulcahy. This was my first experience of an American baseball game, and it was exceptional! Vinny took all of us to Washington D.C. to see the famous monuments and it was a dream. I have learned a lot about myself this summer. I have learned to trust new people and rely on others when I need help. I came out here on my own and I am leaving with friends for life. These friends are from all walks of life, and Project Children has brought us together, still doing as was intended by the Mulcahy family back in 1975. Greenwood Lake will always hold a special place in my heart, as my first experience away from home alone, and I know that in years to come I will always come back here.

Molly Donnelly

Callinan & Smith, Pennsylvania

When I arrived in Newark Airport on the 21st June, 2022 with all the other interns, I was extremely apprehensive and had no idea what to expect but I was put right at ease when I met my host family Matt and Michele Smith and the other intern that I would be staying with, Lorraine, who turned out to be a great friend. We went straight from the airport to Denis’ house in Greenwood Lake for pizza and from there the Smiths drove us to their house in Honesdale Pennsylvania where we were met by 2 parrots, a dog, 2 cats and a rabbit! We started our legal internship in Matt’s office, Callinan & Smith in Hawley Pennsylvania the following day where we worked alongside him and his son Matthew Jr. They mainly work on civil cases involving insurance fraud. From working with the Smiths, I learned how different the legal system is in America in comparison to Ireland and I had the opportunity to see how a law office operates in America. I had the chance to sit in on several Examinations under Oath (EUOs), depositions, arbitrations and motions over Zoom and even attended an in-person deposition of a suspect homeowner’s case in Philadelphia. It was a real eye-opening experience. In addition to this I worked on multiple projects in the office which gave me a glimpse into what working in the legal sector is really like. I assisted with reviewing cheques on a money laundering case, did research on the training of service animals in conjunction with a person’s disability and did administrative work in a legal setting. I also had the opportunity to see a town hall meeting and got to witness the American republicans’ version of democracy. There, we met the local police officers who invited us to go for a ride along with them. This was an amazing experience as I got to spend 4 hours driving around Hawley with them while they were on duty, and I got to see firsthand how the police work in America which is very different to how the gardai work in Ireland, but it was an interesting experience, nonetheless. On our first week, the Smiths took us to Scranton where we went to the restaurant and bar that my favorite TV show, The Office, was filmed in. On my weekends off, I went to New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington. In New York I went to China Town, Little Italy and the Highline and I even got to meet Johnathan Van Ness from Queer Eye. The host family took us to Philadelphia where we went on a bus tour of all the main tourist attractions, and I saw the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, and Congress Hall. One of the hosts, Vinnie took all the interns to Washington where we got the chance to see the White House, the Capitol, the Washington Monument, and the Lincoln Memorial. On our last weekend, Matt took us shooting. It was my first time shooting and it won’t be my last! I got to shoot an AR15 which was an interesting experience to say the least! In addition to this, we went down a coal mine, on a vintage steam train and got to see where Woodstock took place and even went to the Woodstock Museum. We also made smores with Michele. The host family took us out to dinner several times and their hospitality and generosity blew me away! Matt took us to try the American delicacy of Chick-Fil-A and I can confirm that it is delicious! On our last weekend, our host family took us to the Wayne County fair where we got to see real Americana culture which was a unique experience. Throughout our trip we went to an Irish dinner dance, a 4th of July barbeque and an Ancient Order of Hibernians barbeque. I had a remarkable summer in Pennsylvania that I will never forget and have made friends and memories for life. I will miss my host family and their pets, especially King Rocky (the old cat who always tried to steal our dinners)! I will also miss having the craic with Matthew Jr, getting him random items from the thrift store and blaring Will Smith in his car! I would like to thank the Smith family for very kindly welcoming myself and Lorraine into their home and for their generosity and cordiality. I will never forget Matt’s pranks and his interesting stories. I would also like to thank Denis, Miriam and their family and Catherine, Al and all the other Project Children coordinators and organizers for giving me this amazing opportunity and for everything they have done for the internship program. I will never forget my summer in America and will cherish this experience forever!

Caoimhe Flannery

Aisling Irish Center, New York

Caoimhe Flannery a student at Mary Immaculate College, Limerick studying a Bachelor of Education (Primary School Teaching). My time as an Intern with Project Children SWT Program has been the best experience of my life to date. I stayed in the Bronx with Breda and John. They welcomed me with open arms into their home and made my stay extremely enjoyable. I was given the opportunity to work at the Aisling Irish Center on McLean Avenue in Yonkers. The Aisling Center offers a variety of free and low-cost programming that promotes Irish culture, mental health and physical health, education, social welfare, and a connection to Irish traditions and community. The centre also supports people seeking employment, accommodation legal and immigration advice as well as counselling services. While working at the Aisling Center I helped to organize the Celtic summer camp. I chose a variety of Celtic myths and legends, I ensured that there was a cross- curricular link between the chosen story, drama, and art. I decided on Irish dances and tunes that would be easy for the children to learn. I also taught beginner Irish Language classes to adults. I taught group Irish traditional fiddle classes and one-to-one fiddle lessons at the Center. Organizing and teaching both the camp and classes will benefit my future teaching career as I learned how to plan efficiently, and how to differentiate content based on both age and ability. I also learned the importance of using both visual and verbal cues when teaching to ensure effective learning. This Celtic Camp also inspired me to start a summer camp in my local area. I also volunteered at the weekly Young @ Heart Lunch. I even did a Makeup tutorial for the seniors! It was always a pleasure to serve the seniors lunch and chat to them about Ireland. I also volunteered with the Homeless program where I packed lunch bags filled with sandwiches, crisps, and water. Volunteering with the Homeless Program positively impacted me as it connected me to the community I was working in and helped me to better understand New York City from different perspectives. My free time was spent sightseeing, visiting relatives, meeting up with the other interns, visiting Greenwood Lake, playing music and spending time with my host family. For the Fourth of July weekend, Breda and John took me to Ossining where I saw a magnificent firework display. I also went sightseeing with Breda in New York City where we ran a road race in Central Park and visited Tiffany’s, the Plaza, and Fifth Avenue. Vinny, another host, took all the interns to Washington D.C. for a day trip. We visited the U.S. Capitol, Lincoln Memorial, the White House, World War II Memorial and the Vietnam Memorial. The weather was gorgeous, and all the interns thoroughly enjoyed the trip. I also spent some time at Greenwood Lake where I visited Denis and Miriam at the Waterstone Inn. Some of the interns and I went paddleboarding and kayaking. I also played music at the American Legion which was organized by Tom Mulcahy. I performed music in a variety of places while in New York, Dunne’s in White Plains, The Landmark in New York City, and Moriarty’s on McLean Avenue. All the interns were shown the documentary, How to Defuse a Bomb, at Catherine Flood’s house. This documentary outlined how Denis Mulcahy helped to foster the peace process in Northern Ireland and explained the history of the program. I would like to thank all staff members at the Aisling Center. It was a pleasure to work with everyone. I would like to thank my host family Breda and John for their warm hospitality. I would also like to thank Catherine Flood and family and Linda Croston for their guidance and support throughout my trip. Finally, I would like to thank Denis Mulcahy, Pat Mulcahy, Ellen Mulcahy and all the Mulcahy family for organizing this program and giving me the opportunity to work in America and to have the most amazing Summer filled with unforgettable memories.

Dean Gordon

Nassau County Court, New York

As we were beginning to land in Newark airport, I felt both excited and scared but the view as we flew past Manhattan was truly something to behold and soon it was just excitement. On our way to baggage collection, we were greeted by our Project Children handlers, my handler was Tom Kinirons who has one of the coolest moustaches I have ever seen. We then drove to Tom’s house and met his wife Theresa who welcomed us with open arms, and we had a real New York style pizza as our first dinner. Vinny, who was my host, came and picked us up from Tom’s house and brought us back to his, we were greeted by the nicest dogs and cats I’ve ever met! The next day Vinny took us into Manhattan and showed us some of the famous sites and how to get around the city safely. I can’t thank Vinny enough for all the experiences and hospitality he has shown me throughout the trip, he is a true gentleman in every sense of the word. My internship was with the Nassau County Court, I interned under Judge Robert McDonald and his law clerk Judith Gann. I was given a very warm welcome to the court and got to witness a lot of very interesting cases. Judge McDonald is a Supreme Court Judge and deals with both civil and criminal cases, during my time I got to witness both types of cases and observe the differences and nuance between the two. Murder cases were common in the court and very intense, I was greatly impressed by the professionalism of all involved within the courts and I have a lot of respect for those who work there. During my time in the courts, I also got to make new friends with fellow interns in the courts and get to know the other judges, I visited both Judge David Sullivan and Judge Teresa Corrigan during my time and got to sit in their courtrooms and watch their trials as well. On our last day Judith had a pizza party for us, and it was nice to sit down and have a real casual conversation with Judge McDonald and Judith. McDonald is a fountain of knowledge and is more than willing to share it, he is a real history buff and has a great memory. I thoroughly enjoyed our conversations on historical events and battles. My host Vinny took some other Project Interns and I to Washington DC, this was a highlight of the whole experience for me as we got to see the White House, the Washington Memorial, The Lincoln Memorial, WW2 Memorial, the Reflecting pool, and the Vietnam War memorial. It was great to be able to spend quality time with my host as well as the other interns and get to know them better and develop close friendships. Getting to spend time in New York City was amazing, it wasn’t just a fleeting holiday experience, you get to experience a true New York lifestyle, see stuff that tourists don’t get to see and experience the city in a true authentic way. I was stationed in Long Island and the local train station was only 20-minute walk away and the train took you straight into the center of the city, the trains to and from were very regular so there are no worries about getting stuck in the city. Overall, my experience during the project children internship was incredible, I will never forget my time in the US, and I am already planning to return to some day! A special thanks is required for my host Vinny, he made the trip special, and I will extremely miss his sense of humor, his pets, and his kindness. I also would like to extend thanks to Tom Kinirons for dealing with a lot of the logistics of the trip as well Paul Lecky and Monica Culbert for answering all my questions and concerns before we left for the USA. Finally, I would like to thank Denis Mulcahy and his family, if not for them project children would not exist, the story behind the program and its history are of great importance and I am very proud to have been a part of it.

Nigel Lynskey

Habitat for Humanity, Colorado

I spent this summer working for Flatirons Habitat for Humanity in Colorado and I couldn’t be more thankful to Denis Mulcahy and Project Children for providing me with this opportunity. Flatirons Habitat for Humanity is a charitable organization that builds affordable, decent living homes for those who cannot afford it or lost their homes in the wildfires. The journey began in Dublin airport, where I met the rest of the interns. Immediately we got on well with each other which really helped a long journey. Arriving in Newark, Dean and I left the other interns to spend our seven weeks in Colorado. We could not be more grateful to stay in the home of Anthony and Darlene, who kept us constantly entertained with exploring Colorado’s beauty, hiking, and our nightly binge of Derry Girls. We spent weeks enjoying all that Colorado has to offer and could barely cover half of it. Starting work for Habitat for Humanity was daunting as I had no previous construction experience, yet the supervisor’s welcoming was more than enough to make me feel at home. Working on a building site in the melting heat seems torturous but when working with such kind and enjoyable people such as Linda, Brendan, and Utah, it goes unnoticed. I was truly blessed with the internship I was given and the great volunteers I met during the process. We spent our weeks working at foundation level of a House, working on waterproofing, framing, and flooring. We also spent some days finishing up on another site, getting ready for a family to move into it. I learned a lot about the construction of a house and the many differences between Irish and American building styles. During the stay we really got a taste of many different cultures through people we met, foods we tried and even places we went. One moment that struck me the most was when we attended the Cheyenne Rodeo, it really felt like something out of a movie. This summer has been truly unforgettable and eye-opening. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity I was provided with, and the hospitality shown throughout the whole journey.

Aoife McCallin

Irish Cultural Centre, New York  

For my internship with Project Children, I was placed in Utica, New York. My internship was based at the Irish Cultural Centre and my time here was divided between the 5 points bar and restaurant and helping to establish their museum. Throughout my time spent working here I truly learnt the inner workings of a business and what it takes to run a successful business. This was a very valuable insight as I study a law and business degree and do not often get to experience the practical side to running a business. I believe this gave me a deeper knowledge and better understanding towards the world of business. The museum work was also very interesting as I spent my time at the Oneida County History Centre learning and researching about the history of Irish settlers in Utica. The Mohawk Valley has strong links to Ireland due to the high number of Irish settlers. Due to this Irish culture is vastly celebrated and one event that occurred was the CNY Irish Festival which I was able to volunteer at. This was an amazing and heart-warming experience to see how Irish culture and heritage is celebrated throughout the world. I was lucky enough to spend most of my free time in the Adirondack mountains either hiking, kayaking, swimming or paddle boarding. These mountains are beautiful, and I would not have been able to experience these activities at home. I also attended my first ever baseball game which was fun experience. I was able to attend the BriteVibes festival which was very unique with cool music, good food and lots of craic. I was fortunate enough to have the Manions as a host family and I could not be any more grateful to them. From the very beginning they made me feel at ease with adjusting to the American way of life and welcomed me into their home with open arms. Without their kindness and allowing me to stay in their home this experience would not have been possible. This summer has been an unforgettable experience with the best memories, and I am so thankful to Project Children, especially my coordinator Pat Costello. Pat made sure that I had the best experience possible and really made the adjustment to America so much easier and without him this summer would not have been possible.

Ciaran McCarry

Supreme Court of the state of New York, New York

This trip has been a thrilling adventure. From the moment I confirmed my position on the 2022 summer internship, right up until now where I write this summary of events. I was granted the prestigious position as an intern for the Supreme Court of the state of New York, acting under Supreme Court Justice David Sullivan. In the course of my duties, I assisted Justice Sullivan’s legal team with a variety of administrative and legal research tasks. This internship provided me with a platform to network “across the water” in an exciting new environment and develop useful skills for work in the legal sector. Every intern is stationed with their own host family. I can confidently state that mine has gone above and beyond to accommodate us. On the weekends, the other interns and I were given the freedom to travel and fully take in the American experience. I was able to take a train into Manhattan and see Times Square, the New York Highline, Central Park and even the 4th of July fireworks! During some of our trips, we were even fortunate enough to travel to Washington DC and Boston. Now that my adventure in America has ended, I would happily recommend it to any student who wishes to gain practical work experience whilst taking in a new culture in a new country.

Damian McKenna

USGLLC/International the Arts & Sports Division, New York

On the 21st of June 2022, we arrived at Newark Airport in New Jersey. As soon as we stepped out of the plane, we were greeted by Denis Mulcahy, Al DeBenedictis, Tom Kinirons & Pat Costello. All the interns were divided into groups, as some of us were going to be staying in Greenwood Lake, Long Island, Bronx, Denver and Pennsylvania. As soon as we arrived in Greenwood Lake, we were given a tour of the town as well as the Waterstone Inn which Denis Mulcahy owns. As a group, we all interacted with one another to get to know each other on a more personal level. The Inn itself was unbelievable! It was a really surreal experience. Denis and his wife Miriam had organised pizzas for all of us. We then spent the rest of the evening getting to know the American people. We were able to compare their student lives and experiences with ours back home. It really was everything that you would imagine it to be from the American movies. I stayed with Sam and Una Gormley, and their son Shea. I worked to help promote the social media aspect of different projects that Sam and Una had going on like the Rose of Tralee festival and Irish dancing competitions, as well as the Irish American Young Leaders organisation. This was a great experience as it allowed me to know more about the different organisations that they are both associated with. Throughout my time as an intern, I was involved in a wide array of projects ranging from research to inventory. Sam and Una were both so kind-hearted and treated me like their son and went out of their way to make me happy – and this is something that I will be forever grateful for. I was fortunate to experience first- hand a baseball game in which the Yankees were playing the Oakland Athletics on Tuesday 28th of June. It was a great experience to visit the Yankee stadium and to experience the atmosphere of a baseball game up close and personal. As a group, we also got to go to Mountain Creek Waterpark which at first was a pretty daunting park, but one that I fully enjoyed and would happily do all over again. As group we also got to experience Washington D.C. Vinny, who was a host in Long Island had organised and even paid for all the interns’ train tickets so we could visit the tourist attractions that Washington had to offer, such as the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, the Washington Monument, the U.S. Capitol, and the Veterans’ Memorials. It was great to experience another city in America and another one to tick off the bucket list! I would just like to say thanks again to Project Children, in just seven short weeks I have formed great friendships with people I may never have crossed paths with or had the opportunity to meet. I have made friends that I hope will last a lifetime and a half! I will be forever grateful for the life experience Project Children has given me as an intern and what it’s taught me about my own personal abilities.

Emer Nic Roibín

Irish Cultural Centre, New York

For my internship I worked in the Irish cultural centre in Utica learning the inner workings of a business. I split my time between the bar and restaurant, five points and working to help establish the museum. In the museum work, I helped with the research of the interesting history of the Irish in Utica. In the cultural centre I took part in their monthly traditional music session which was very special to be a part of. During my time in Utica, I stayed with the Manion family. I could not be more grateful for the time I spent with them. We were fortunate enough to spend time camping and hiking in the Adirondacks which is like nothing I’ve ever done before. We spent most of our time kayaking, swimming, hiking and enjoying the amazing weather. I cannot thank the Manion family enough for welcoming us into their home and treating us like family. We had seen as much of the surrounding area of Utica as we could and one of the trips, we made was to see the secret cavern, an underground cave which was amazing. I was also fortunate enough to watch my very first baseball game which was the very American experience I thought it was going to be! Whilst in Utica we also spent the day with assembly woman Marianne Buttenschon. This was very interesting seeing first-hand the day-to-day life of an assembly member. This year’s central New York Irish fest took place while we were there, and we had the opportunity to volunteer at the bar and it was an amazing experience. It was heart- warming to see Irish culture being so enthusiastically celebrated thousands of miles from home. This summer has been the opportunity of a lifetime and I cannot thank project children enough. Especially our area coordinator Pat Costello who made us feel so at home and always made sure we were having the best experience possible. This is a very special programme and even more special knowing I have made lifelong friends in America.

Donal O’Callaghan 

Waterstone Inn, New York

Thinking back on the 21st of June, the first day of our Project Children Internship journey, I remember the chaos of Dublin Airport – check-in, customs, security, preclearance – and how sharply it contrasted with the tranquillity of Greenwood Lake. It was a welcome change, and an early indicator of the transformation our lives were about to undergo. The fast friends made in the terminal queues were relegated to Snapchat usernames and memories of hasty small talk as we went our separate ways. Us four Greenwood Lake interns bonded quickly through our new shared experience. We were quickly shown our quarters and got some much-needed rest before getting the 411 on our duties and responsibilities as Waterstone Innkeepers the next day. While my roommate Paul had the trials of the kitchen to contend with, I was charged with the maintenance and upkeep of the Inn and the surrounding area. Working with Denis, I learned a great deal. I’ve worked on cars, repaired light fixtures, assembled furniture, installed air conditioning units, hung up and wired ceiling fans, painted window frames and cottage shutters, built up boat docks and railings, created a beach and learned how lawn and plant care is done in this much warmer climate. I can confidently say I have developed a huge variety of new skills that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Living with the Mulcahy’s has been one of the best experiences of my life. From that dreary late June afternoon, we have been made feel so welcome and at home at the Waterstone Inn. We have had a combination of great food, great company, and great experiences. Miriam and Maureen’s cooking always hit the spot and was welcome after a tough day of work in the New York heat. The Mulcahy’s really made us feel like one of their own and became our new American family. Luckily, it wasn’t all work. The Mulcahy’s arranged for and allowed us to do so many incredible things – go to Yankee baseball games, assist coaching at Flag American Football training, attend GAA socials and traditional Irish music sessions, socialise with the wonderful locals in Greenwood Lake, see the amazing Fourth of July firework display, as well as go on incredible trips to New Jersey and Washington DC. To top it all off, more boat trips out on the lake than I can count! It was a group viewing of How To Defuse a Bomb: The Project Children Story that truly brought into focus the importance of this program and the legacy we interns were stepping into. It made us all appreciate the great work Denis and Pat Mulcahy undertook during the Troubles in Northern Ireland and the depth of love, opportunity, and freedom the project brought not only to the Catholic and Protestant youth of the North, but also to hundreds of American families and communities. Consequently, I would like to extend a thank you to Denis, Miriam, Maureen, Seána, Seanie, Denis Jr, Tara, Tom, Nora, Christine, Rob, Catherine, Linda, Vinny and all the wonderful Greenwood Lakers who accepted us into their community. This has been a life-changing experience and one, I will never forget.

Paul O’Donnell

Waterstone Inn, New York.

From the 21st of June I can safely say that my summer has become one that I will never forget! Although the first two days were quite dreary and maybe not the type of weather we were expecting, Denis letting us out on the paddleboards as soon as the sun came out was a very good sign of things to come. My internship this summer was at the Waterstone Inn where I stayed with another intern, and now great friend Dónal. While Dónal was on the general maintenance and upkeep of the Inn, I was tasked with helping in any way I can assist in the running of the Inn. In the morning I would wait and serve the tables for breakfast while the wonderful Christine cooked the food and taught me all the tips and tricks of the Inn. After breakfast I would clean the kitchen, the dining room, and then the guest quarters of the Inn. I quickly became a self-proclaimed pro at dressing beds--and the infamous military corner—under my supervisor Christine’s watchful eye. As my internship went on, I was trusted with preparing and cooking the breakfast all by myself, which I was delighted to tackle and would like to say conquered, bar a scrambled egg or two. On the few occasions where the Inn was quiet, or the rarer occasion where there were no guests at all, I would spend the day helping Dónal and Denis Mulcahy with the landscaping and maintenance of the Waterstone Inn and the other locations available. Fixing ceiling fans, assembling furniture, and building a beach were just some of the tasks we completed, with a fair share of collecting geese poop and consequently deploying anti-geese measures thrown in the mix too. Working at the Inn was such a great experience for me as it built on my hospitality experience, but also gave me experience in a kitchen and as a handyman. The motto at Greenwood Lake is ‘Work Hard, Play Hard’ and so during our time off we made sure to make the most of it and take advantage of all the opportunities that were thrown at us. We got to see and explore so much of Greenwood Lake and its surrounding area. There was seldom, if ever, an opportunity to be out on the lake turned down. I would now call myself a master on the paddleboard and seeing as Dónal and I kayaked four miles of the lake one day, we’re not too bad at that either. Tubing and jumping off The Rock at the beautiful Charlie’s Cove are more of the activities we got up to on the Lake. We also got to travel outside of Greenwood Lake on several occasions. Seanie Mulcahy took us to our first ever baseball game which was an over- stimulating experience but in the best way possible. I got to play Gaelic football at a 7- a-side competition in Rockland GAA club where we were treated with food and drink afterwards, as well as bumping into Johnnie B (from The 2 Johnnie’s). We got to visit the Aisling Centre in Yonkers on several different occasions. We got to go to Mountain Creek Waterpark which has a very conspicuous history. We got the American experience of a Six Flags amusement park and rode front row on a rollercoaster that exceeds speeds of 200km/h. We went on a trip to the Jersey Shore where we not only roamed the beautiful beach but soaked in the culture of the boardwalk that night. Vinny, one of the Project Children hosts, generously treated all of us with a trip to Washington D.C. In the capital, even though it was hot beyond belief, we had an amazing day seeing all the famous landmarks and buildings. We saw the White House, the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial just to name a few. We were lucky enough that the Fourth of July was during our stay. Thanks to Tom and Nora Mulcahy’s hospitality we got the best view of the fireworks that were put on over the lake. We even got to experience an Irish trad session at the Legion here in Greenwood Lake. We got to try American football at the local pitch as a flag football competition ran every Friday. We took part in the parade that walked through the town in front of all the citizens who had so kindly and welcomingly accepted us into their little sanctuary. Last, but not least, Denis Jr. and Tara Mulcahy on several occasions cooked us a delicious American-style barbecue. This was sometimes followed up with ice- cream that has been awarded #2 in the whole of America. As you can see, we got to experience a lot, but none of that would have been possible without the help of everyone. A massive thanks must be acknowledged for the entirety of the Mulcahy family, especially Maureen and Seána who hosted us and could not have been more accommodating in any sense of the word. Miriam had a difficult task of keeping myself and Dónal full, but her meals were often a taste of home and always hit the spot. Lastly, I must thank Denis Mulcahy for the opportunity and experience but also for his complete generosity (even if sometimes he tries to even it out by delegating extra work). I will be forever

Ava Redhead

Aisling Center, New York

Upon my arrival to the Aisling Center, I was incredibly nervous. Luckily, I got stuck right into work. My main focus for the first few days was the upcoming Golf Tournament on the 24th of June. We spent the day taking pictures, talking to the golfers and selling tickets to the raffle at the end of the event. This experience was one I will never forget, as it was an amazing introduction to many different people and gave me an opportunity to work on my social skills. One of my main focuses for the first few weeks was designing posters for various classes. As an art student, I feel my skills in graphic design were much improved through this. I hadn’t much experience designing posters prior, and it was a great way to enhance my skills in this area. Another big part of my first few weeks was learning my way around reception. The first step was shadowing one of my colleagues and learning the ins and outs of managing the website and Facebook page, using the statistics spreadsheets and signing people up for classes. I found the technological aspect especially difficult to get used to, as it is not a strong point of mine. For this reason, I feel I benefited immensely from my time at the front desk. One of the major events I attended was the Dinner Dance. The majority of the other interns attended and this was a great opportunity for me to meet with other people from similar walks of life to my own. This event was one of the highlights of my trip, as I met with many people that had given me the wonderful gift of this internship and learn more about Project Children and how it came to be. As my experience continued, I got more opportunities to meet with other interns and explore New York City. It was amazing to not only see, but to experience and be part of a completely different culture and setting to my own back in Ireland. As a student in Dublin, I thought I’d be used to cities and travelling, but it was a major shock to navigate such a massive city with the other interns and no prior experience. The atmosphere around McLean Avenue, where the Aisling Center is located, was what kept me from homesickness. From the people themselves to the stores and bars all down the Avenue, it was filled with people that came from home. I especially enjoyed attending Ceilí nights with other interns, as I got to meet many new people and listen to familiar music I grew up with in Ireland. The second half of my internship revolved mostly around having my own art classes for local children. It gave me experience in the proper preparation for classes, working with children and guiding them, and teaching them valuable skills through the means of art. These classes were an amazing opportunity for me to enhance my multitasking skills, as well as organizing the different activities for the children to take part in. A major part of the Centre’s summer programs is the Celtic Summer Camp. As a fluent Irish speaker and a traditional Irish singer, I thoroughly enjoyed working at these camps. While it was a completely different experience that pushed me out of my comfort zone, I had the opportunity to work closely with qualified teachers and learn valuable skills from them on how to improve on my communication when working with children. This will no doubt help me in the future, as I am progressing through college in order to work with children in the future. As this internship ends, I reflect on all that I have learned throughout this experience. The challenges I’ve faced, most notably being unwell on my trip and learning to push through and work to the best of my ability. The lifelong friendships I’ve made along the way and the amazing culture I’ve gotten the chance to experience. And most importantly, the invaluable skills and experience I’ve gained and improved upon from working with amazing, patient and knowledgeable people at the Aisling Center. This is an experience that I will never forget and that will impact me greatly for the rest of my career and life.

Lorraine Walsh

Callinan & Smith, Pennsylvania

For my internship, I worked in Pennsylvania in Callinan & Smith with the attorneys Matthew J. Smith and Matthew P. Smith. In the office I got to experience EUO’s, Arbitration’s and I even got to attend a live court case in the Bronx and even meet the judge. I got to learn about the impact of Covid on the legal system and how it adapted to being able to be done at home over zoom and teleconference. Molly and I were assigned individual projects throughout our internship and got to get more experience in legal research and administration work. My primary project assigned to me involved the investigation of cheques to find proof of money laundering. The projects assigned to me gave me great experience that could not have been gotten without this internship. I attended a town hall meeting along with both Matthew and Molly, where we met the local police force. They offered to bring us on a ride-along and we got to see the ins and outs of small-town law enforcement and their duties and responsibilities. I got to witness the process of a traffic violation and how their communications work in the police car radio. Matt told us many stories about his time and experience in the US Military and his process of becoming a lawyer. Michele also told us many of her life experiences and stories too and we’d sometimes talk at the dinner table for hours sharing stories with each other. Alongside Matt and Michelle, Molly and I went to an Ancient Order of Hibernians barbeque where we got to meet many Irish Americans who were more than delighted to meet us and talk about Ireland. I was also able to attend a 4th of July party and got to take part in a classic American tradition with my host family. On weekends we were given the freedom to travel around and see different cities and their attractions. Molly and I travelled into New York City together many weekends and got to see a variety of sights like the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park, Times Square, China Town, Little Italy, The High Line etc. Despite the both of us already having been in New York before, we both found that travelling independently was a lot different and we got to see parts of the city we had never seen before. We were given plenty of opportunities to meet up with the other interns and watched the Project Children movie How to Defuse a Bomb together. Matt brought us to several places in Pennsylvania such as Philadelphia where the first supreme court was created, Bethel Woods where Woodstock festival took place, and Scranton where we travelled three hundred feet underground in a mine cart to do a tour of the old coal mine. In Scranton we also went on a vintage steam train. We also had the opportunity to visit Washington D.C. where we saw the capital building, the White House, the Abraham Lincoln memorial, the Vietnam and Korean war memorial and the George Washington memorial. The town we stayed in, Honesdale, was small but pleasant. We went to the local Wayne County fair and got to meet many of the local business owners and residents and saw and experienced their local traditions. Matt brought us shooting for the first time in the local shooting range. I’m going to miss life in Pennsylvania, and I will especially miss our host family’s pets, King Rocky, Rascals, and Zoe ‘The Dog’. I cannot thank Matt, Michele and Matthew Smith enough for making my summer in America so enjoyable and for their hospitality. They made me feel right at home in their house and opened their own home with open arms to me. I also cannot thank Denis enough for the opportunity and for providing an experience I will truly never forget.