What can our #SavvyTeenAcademy participants expect during this week focused on Careers, Communication and Confidence?

Having attended various programmes ourselves as teenagers, we know that social participation is as much fun as any formal type so we actively encourage you to come with an open mind and to take as much away from it as you possibly can.

So if you are joining us, what can you expect?

On a logistical level:
(a)    Each day of the course starts at 10 a.m. and finishes at 4 p.m. 
(b)   We supply elevenses snacks, lunch and drinks
(c)    The location is Griffith College and you can plan your journey using this information; https://www.griffith.ie/conference-centre/location
(d)   We have all materials on the day and hence, all you need to bring is your wonderful self!

Monday's theme is Building Confidence. We will explain some key tips and techniques in overcoming shyness and becoming more active in group and social situations. You will grow your assertiveness where you feel enabled and empowered to make new friends, to speak up when you wish to contribute and to disagree in such a way that you do not come across as troublesome or pushy. We will do an activity on speaking in front of others as this is a key lifeskill and something that almost everyone faces at some stage of their life. Susan was captain of her debating team in Transition Year and will share some stories of her experience of that.


Tuesday's theme is Communicating as a Team. There are lots of people who have this skill down to a fine art due to having been on sports teams; however, there are also some people who haven't and might feel a little uncomfortable in communicating with as well as being part of a team. The reality is though, that as you make your way through life, you will need to work with other people to get things done, from college projects to getting home after a night out! Monica has trained people in these skills all over the world and brings the best of those techniques to you on this day.  As you become more senior, you will be expected to lead and motivate others so we are going to work on this skill throughout the day and welcome our guest speakers on the theme, namely Jayne Lawlor and Ger Brennan. Ger is a GAA footballer who plays for Dublin County and St.Vincent's club.  He was part of a victorious Dublin squad to win the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship in a match against Kerry. Commadent Jayne Lawlor is Military Assistant to Assistant Chief of Staff. She has served on Peacekeeping Missions in various appointments  in UNIFIL, Lebanon, 2000 to 2001, in UNMIL, Liberia, 2004, in KFOR, Kosovo in 2006 and in ISAF, Afganistan in 2013.
It takes as much energy to wish as it does to plan


Wednesday's theme is Carving Out Your Own Path. This will be a highly practical day where we will look at some excellent tips and techniques for study skills. It's such an important time of your life when you are making pretty big decisions that will impact your career and hence, we are going to go through a CAO workshop. We will talk through the various careers that interest you right now and help you to speak openly about what you would like to do after school. We see many cases of adults being unfulfilled in their work and feeling ' trapped' in a job they do not like. We want to try to prevent this situation from happening to you and to enable you to make the absolute best of your capabilities, talents and opportunities. As employers, both of us often get CVs from teenagers and young adults. We know what employers look for, so we are going to help you write your first CV and cover letter so that you have it to hand when you want to use it.  Our guest speaker on Wednesday is Fionbarr Walsh from the LiveLife Foundation. Fionbarr is father of Donal Walsh, the Kerry teenager who touched so many lives when he spoke about his terminal illness and subsequent appearance on Brendan O'Connor's 'The Saturday Night Show'.  Donal who fundraised tirelessly while battling cancer has now had the Donal Walsh #Livelife Foundation set up by his family in order to bring forward his causes of providing age appropriate teenage facilities in hospital and hospice centres as well as promoting a positive message about living life to the full and making informed choices.

Thursday's theme is Making the Most of Your Money. Money is most likely already featuring as pretty important in your life. It will become an even bigger issue as you become more responsible for your own earnings and management of money. Financial literacy and proficiency is a skill that you will benefit from every day of your life. Susan has written three books on this topic and is an experienced economist who will take you through some tried and tested ways to manage your money. We will have a session on Entrepreneurship and what it takes to get your own business off the ground. Terry Clune founder, owner and CEO of Taxback.com and The Taxback Group will be our guest speaker on this day. A graduate of Trinity College Dublin, Terry started his business while working in Germany as a student. The Taxback Group has a global presence of 32 offices in 24 countries and Terry won Entrpreneur of the Year in 2009.

Friday's theme is Looking after Yourself. How can you as a teenager look after yourself? Well, we are both members of the anti-cyberbullying summit for Ireland and we will share some ideas on how to stay safe while online and protect your digital reputation. We will also have a panel of experts on the topics of Alcohol, Drugs and Sexual Health  who will answer any questions that you might have on those areas.  We will have time on Friday for reflection on your learnings, thoughts, feelings and generally to chat through what you got out of the week - what you enjoyed the most and so on. Our guest speaker on Friday is Emer Halpenny who owns her own drama school and will bring the #SavvyTeenAcademy to a fun-filled close!

If you have any questions at, please do give us a call on 01 8386110 or email us at info@savvyteenacademy.com.

We are genuinely looking forward to a wonderful week and to welcoming you to the #SavvyTeenAcademy.

Susan HayesCulleton