Gaisce – The President’s Award is pleased to announce the appointment of Colehill’s Síona Cahill in a new position heading up Public Affairs and Communications.
Gaisce is a direct challenge to Ireland’s youth from the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins, to dream big and realise their potential.
Síona is former President of the Union of Students in Ireland (USI), and has over six years of experience in advocacy, campaigns, and public affairs.
Síona was shortlisted alongside activist Greta Thunberg in the Women of Europe Awards 2019 and is a recipient of an NXF GALA for her work on LGBTI+ advocacy.
Ms Cahill has previously sat on the Department of Education’s expert group on Consent at third level, the Department of Justice and Equality’s steering group on the Strategy for Women and Girls, as well as contributing to Ireland’s first LGBTI+ Youth Strategy.
Síona is a graduate of a BCL Civil Law and Sociology at Maynooth University and attended Secondary School in Mercy Secondary Ballymahon.
“The power of the youth voice has been at the heart of my career to date across the charity and NGO sector, from access to education to youth advocacy, to reaching marginalised and under-represented groups,” said Ms Cahill.
“I am so excited to join a dynamic team with Gaisce – The President’s Award led by Yvonne McKenna, CEO. 2020 has been a fiercely challenging year for young people; and strong mentorship, educational programming and support needs to be visible and accessible to them regardless of where they live or their means.
“The Gaisce Award is an opportunity to challenge yourself through personal skills development, physical recreation and community engagement, and thousands of young people are doing incredible stuff at every corner of the country right now – I can’t wait to share their stories with the world.”
Welcoming the appointment, CEO of Gaisce – The President’s Award Yvonne McKenna remarked: “I am delighted that Síona is joining our staff team to lead on Gaisce’s public affairs and communications.
“She has already set an ambitious agenda to engage with public representatives and those working for and with young people across the country to enhance the experience of Gaisce – The President’s Award and encourage more young people to participate in Ireland’s leading youth self-empowerment programme.
“Síona will play a leading part in driving our public facing activity and we are delighted to have her on the team.”
The Chair of Gaisce – The President’s Award Council, John Cunningham said: “I am so delighted to have Síona join our team - her values, energy and professional expertise has already had an impact, as we trended across the day for ‘Lá Gaisce’ celebrating over 20,000 young people participating this year so far.
“Gaisce - The President's Award is so important as we all fight Covid-19, and Síona is going to help bring that message to the widest audience using her skill and wealth of experience representing young people.”