International Pen Pals
University of Limerick International Division
Each year, the Washington Ireland Program (WIP) selects 30 talented students to join their growing community of leaders and influencers by completing a yearlong program of service and leadership development. It gives university students from across the island a unique opportunity to live and intern in Washington DC for 8 weeks in some amazing organisations while also participating in a local service project on a weekly basis.
A very important element of the program is the commitment to service and volunteering. Students are supported to complete service in their community and in Washington DC while interning and living there for 8 weeks. Students work with WIP’s service partners on a regular basis throughout the summer to get an insight into service in a US setting and the challenges that face the city of Washington DC. They support a range of organisations that work to serve the needs of homeless people and disadvantaged youth in the city.
Caoimhe Ní Mhaolagáin from DCU, outlines how her experience of volunteering helped her to be chosen for the Washington Ireland Program class of 2016:
"The Washington Ireland Programme stood out to me for a number of reasons. I had heard about the amazing opportunities, the fantastic experience, the internship, however, the one which really grabbed my attention was the service element.
I began to get involved with volunteering when I came to college. I joined the Raising and Giving Society committee as the first-year rep and went on to set up and run a social project. The cooking project which I ran gave me a great sense of responsibility and a really great insight into how much of an impact you can have to people’s lives in your community. The following year I became the Chairperson and strived to spread that message to all of my members and committee.
The Washington Ireland Programme gave me a platform for my views and understanding of service to be expressed to my fellow classmates. We were required to volunteer before and after our trip to D.C and we also were all given the opportunity to volunteer at a number of different projects throughout the city during our summer in D.C. I worked at the Urban Demonstration Garden of the Capital Area Food Bank. This project was not only an enjoyable experience but gave us another perspective on the historical city which we were living in and the struggles the people face.
If it were not for my volunteering background and experience I do not feel I would have been selected for the programme. Commitment to Service and Leadership go hand in hand and are two of the core values of WIP. If these two concepts resonate with you then the Washington Ireland Programme is something to definitely to consider."
You can apply now for this incredible opportunity, until it closes December 1st, with upcoming talks about the program taking place around the country over the next few weeks- details of which can be found here.
StudentVolunteer.ie enables students to have the opportunity to: enrich your personal development and employability skills, have a fun experience, meet new people, and give back to your community. Sign up now.Register Now