By Suzanne Pender
A STUDENT in St Leo’s College, Carlow has been selected as the regional final winner in this year’s prestigious Rotary Youth Leadership Development competition.
Alannah Willoughby, a transition-year student, was announced as the regional winner of the competition in the Keadeen Hotel, Newbridge last week. This followed her selection as the winner of the Carlow competition earlier in the month.
Daughter of David and Deirdre Willoughby from Garrendenny, Crettyard, Alannah is the eldest of three, including sisters Zara and Lexi, and is a past pupil of Mayo NS, Crettyard.
Alannah was also successfully selected to be part of the Houses of the Oireachtas transition year programme and was in the Oireachtas last week to meet president of the European Commission Ursula von der Leyen.
Alannah impressed the Rotary Youth Leadership judges with her articulate and fluent presentation and the breadth of her knowledge of current affairs, in particular her awareness and activism around change, and noted her work with the green schools as being especially impressive.
As a result of her win, Alannah will now enjoy an all-expenses paid trip to Strasbourg, Belfast and Dublin in the coming months with fellow regional winners from all over Ireland.
The competition, which is one of Rotary Ireland’s longest running youth projects, rewards young people with clear leadership potential based on their extra-curricular activities. It is run in conjunction with the EU offices in Dublin and Euroscola in Strasbourg.
Janice de Bróithe, President of Rotary Club Carlow, congratulated Alannah on her wonderful achievement and praised all the students who had gotten through to the final and all those who had entered this year’s competition.
“The standard of presentations was excellent this year and great credit is due to all our finalists and indeed everyone who took part in earlier rounds. We were blown away by each of the students and we have no doubt that they will go on to do great things in this world,” said Janice.
“We hope everyone enjoyed the experience and benefited from taking part. I would also like to extend my thanks and gratitude to the schools, without whom the competition would not be possible.”