Local student selected for US programme

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Banbridge student Courtney Allison, will join a class of 30 student participants representing Northern Ireland and Ireland as part of the Washington Ireland Program for Service and Leadership (WIP) this year.

Each year, WIP selects 30 talented students to join it’s network of leaders and influencers by completing a 12-month program of service and leadership development, which includes a summer in Washington DC or New York City.

Courtney, a 2018 student at Queen’s University Belfast, was one of those selected.

For over two decades WIP has brought together young leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds for an outstanding leadership and skills-development program.

Selection for WIP 2018 was highly competitive with three hundred students from across the island of Ireland competing for the opportunity to be on the class, and ultimately to become part of an active WIP alum network seeking to make a difference in their communities.

Courtney said: “I’m extremely grateful to be granted this opportunity to explore local politics in an international setting. For Northern Ireland to continue to exist in these peaceful times young people from across this island must come together and remind ourselves that, despite political deadlocks and the polarizing nature of Northern Irish politics in particular, there is more that unites us than divides us.”

If you would like to follow the progress of Courtney and others this summer you can follow their blogs and view photos at www.wiprogram.org.

The Washington Ireland Program has cause to celebrate in 2018 with notable alums serving as Taoiseach (Leo Varadkar, WIP Class of 2000), Lord Mayor of Belfast (Nuala McAllister, WIP

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar recently launched WIP’s New York Program by speaking about his experience on WIP at the Irish Consulate in New York City: “It helped me develop my view of the wider world and without it perhaps I wouldn’t be standing here today.”

Class of 2010), and in Westminster (Emma Little-Pengelly, WIP Class of 2002).