President’s Civic Spirit Award

President’s Civic Spirit Award

President’s Civic Spirit Award

The President’s Civic Spirit Award has been established to recognise and acknowledge the significant contribution of IT Tralee’s student volunteers to the Institute and the wider community. Engaging with one’s community as a volunteer brings a benefit to both student and community, this award seeks to encourage student community engagement, active citizenship and build on the established work that is being carried out by students.

In order to be eligible for this award, you need to demonstrate commitment to a voluntary organisation/project. This may be on campus, within local community or in your home town. All students who submit their hours and meet the minimum criteria for their chosen category will be awarded an IT Tralee President’s Civic Spirit Bronze, Silver or Gold Certificate. A Gold, Silver and Bronze Award will be bestowed on three candidates displaying outstanding volunteering experience and impact, as adjudged by the award selection panel. Applications will be processed through

Category Criteria for President's Civic Spirit Award

Bronze - Minimum 25 hrs

Silver -  Minimum 60 hrs

Gold -  Minimum 100 hrs


Step 1: Express your interest in the President's Civic Spirit award via the form below. Once you sign up you will receive an information pack from the Office of Student Engagement.

Step 2: Sign up to your volunteering opportunity. You can find opportunites on or volunteer with an organisation of your choice including IT Tralee Clubs, Scoieties or Departments. Make sure you log your hours through! 

Step 3: Complete your volunteering and log your hours on Once you have reached the minimum hours you will be prompted to apply for the PCSA.

Step 4: Complete the reflective questions section on . This form is designed to help you reflect on the impact and benefits that both you and the community organisation gained from your volunteering role (the reflective portfolio will be very useful when you are updating your C.V. and in job interviews). Submit your application via by April 13th.

Step 5: All completed forms will be reviewed by the President's Civic Spirit Award Selection Committee.

Step 6: The President's Civic Spirit Award Ceremony takes place in late April in IT Tralee. Family and friends of students are welcome to attend the awards.




President’s Civic Spirit Award Winners

Silver PCSA Winner Petrina Comerford 

I was delighted to be chosen for the Silver President’s Civic Spirit Award. I received this award for my volunteering with the I.T. Tralee St. Vincent De Paul Society. I am honoured to be recognised for my volunteering work both within and outside the college. Over the past 3 years I have seen this society grow and develop. I am a Social Care student who is very passionate about volunteering and I feel that my course within the college has aided my abilities within the society. Volunteering has broadened my life experiences and given me a better understanding of student's circumstances. The societies motto is “Students Supporting Students” therefore throughout my years volunteering I was assisting students within the college.

During my time volunteering I learned valuable skills such as personal skills, interpersonal skills and interaction skills. Throughout my volunteering I have held the positions of First Year Officer and Welfare Officer. Helping students helped me to be who I am today. Volunteering gives you great insights into college life and gives you plenty of opportunities to meet new people while been involved in great activities. I love volunteering as it is very rewarding and I get the opportunity to help my fellow students. The recognition from receiving the President’s Civic Spirit Award is unbelievable and I am very grateful. 



Gold PCSA Winner Deborah Donovan

“I am very honoured to have been chosen for the Gold Civic Spirit Award. It is always phenomenal to receive recognition for things we do no matter what the situation. I have always tried to pick volunteering opportunities where my skills can be best utilised and where I feel I could also benefit by testing my own abilities. I would be doing work in the community no matter what, but gaining the recognition of the PCSA award is absolutely wonderful”.

During the academic year 2013/14 I volunteered with a number of different organisations:

Kerry Adult Literacy and Basic Education Service, where I met a student every week for two hours and worked on literacy, numeracy and IT development.
Tralee Coder Dojo where I led most of the sessions for the 8-12 year old group. I played an active part in designing the workshops with the Coder Dojo team and also delivered the session.
Shannow FRC when they put on their Special Needs camps during the summer, at Halloween and at Easter.
ITT Enterprise Society, who won Best New Society and Best Event this year in the IT.

I have been studying Digital Media with the express aim of using the knowledge I gleaned from this course to improve in my professional capacity as an educator. I chose the organisations that I volunteered with, keeping in mind how my background in education and my experience could be of benefit to the organisations. 

I have worked with adults who have literacy difficulties and have made the courageous decision to get back into the education system and improve their levels of literacy. This was a humbling experience and its most pertinent personal benefit was to teach me not to take anything for granted in the classroom; I am privileged as a voluntary tutor to have students who return week after week which is the greatest indication that the work we undertook together was beneficial.

My volunteering with Tralee Coder Dojo gave me the opportunity to combine a number of passions; education, technology and creativity. I really enjoyed working with the Tralee Coder Dojo team, who are all volunteers. The most pertinent personal benefit I obtained from this experience is developing my ability when teaching children how to become creative and proficient problem solvers. It is a wonderful and tricky balance between giving the exact solution and giving just enough, so the children will develop strategies to solve the problems for themselves. I hope that I and Tralee Coder Dojo have helped the participants become creators and critics of digital content, not just consumers.

I have worked as a teacher in special education and even though I no longer hold this position I found this to be a rewarding occupation. Volunteering for the Camps for Children with special needs gave me the opportunity to continue my relationship with children with special needs some of whom I have taught in the past. The most pertinent personal benefit I obtained from this experience is the relationship I have built up with the children with special needs. It is tremendous to see their continuing development in all aspects of their lives, knowing that at some point I have contributed.


Bronze PCSA Winner Raissa Smyth

“Winning the Bronze Civic Spirit Award was a great achievement for me. It was great to be recognised for the time I volunteered with the ITT Badminton Club and to see the benefits and changes in the club over my time there”.

The club invites all ITT students to become members and the abilities of the players range from beginners to advanced. I chose to volunteer as an assista

nt coach as I felt I could share some of my knowledge of the game of badminton with the players, as I am a player myself. I found by being a coach in the club, it made me realise that there was a great responsibility attached to the running of the club.  While there, I developed personal skills like being able to shine and show my personality, being able to show confidence and encouragement and to be able to coach and referee. I also learnt Life skills such as cultural understanding, problem solving, and I got a sense of career clarification as I am now studying Physical Education Teaching as part of my Health and Leisure Degree. From the volunteering I had a better understanding of the phase "Learn to Serve and Serve to Learn". I realise that not only does the club benefit from my volunteering contribution to it but I also gain knowledge from my engagement in the club. As a result I have chosen to stay on and help volunteering in the IT Badminton club as a coach. I'd encourage anyone to get involved in volunteering as the benefits from it are unlimited and getting recognition by receiving the President’s Civic Spirit Award is great.


PCSA Winner 2013 Peter Bounds

"Being awarded the President's Civic Spirit Award means a great deal to me, not only has my work been valued, but vol

unteering in general is being recognized and highlighted. I will always remember my experience volunteering at Campabilties. It is a very special event.

I feel that the whole experience involved active learning, looking at the why and how rather than looking at current information or the status quo and accepting it, I got the opportunity to put my ideas forward and was encouraged to be creative in finding solutions to challenges.

The feeling of self-worth and community involvement is evident by the generosity shown by all of the people involved in the camp. The respect and mutual acceptance by everyone involved can improve the wider community if this message of communal growth and enjoyment is highlighted.”

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