A number of students from Oaklands Community College took part in an initiative organised by Gerry Collins, Co-ordinator of The School Completion Programme(SCP) in Edenderry.
The SCP is a Department of Children programme aimed at encouraging children to remain in school up to Leaving Cert, as all the evidence suggests that those who do not achieve a Leaving Cert end up on the margins of our society.
Mr Collins’ experience of these teenagers (and for that matter all teenagers) is that the lack of self confidence and self esteem are major barriers to success. Teenagers are being bombarded with media stories and images that are unrealistic but are affecting young people’s image of themselves.
The workshop included classes on skin and hair care, and personal grooming. The female students got to experiment with make-up and it was demonstrated by the facilitator, Aileen Abbot of Heavens Above Beauty and Holistic Therapies, that less is definitely more when one has naturally youthful skin.
The camaraderie between the students on the workshop was amazing. Some students were more self conscious than others but what was evident was the care and encouragement the girls demonstrated towards each other and the staff. The parents and guardians of the students involved in the making of an audiovisual for use on Face book and YouTube did so to demonstrate how wonderful the teenagers can look and how to celebrate their teen years.
Photographer Nida Collins, photographed the girls and put together a fashion shoot for You Tube and Face book. “It’s amazing to see these young ladies go from being shy and self conscious to enjoying themselves and each other in the shoot.”
The workshop was run in the idyllic surroundings of The Glade, unique boutique venue just minutes from Edenderry.
“The girls who took part have to be congratulated for taking the brave step to put themselves out there and I’m sure their parents are proud of them, not to mention their school,” said Gerry Collins.