University mentoring programme a hit


A SERIES of short films highlighting contemporary issues facing children from different backgrounds in Dublin were showcased at the Chester Beatty Library in the city centre yesterday.

The films were the culmination of this summer’s Discover University Programme, which brought together 32 teens from disadvantaged and migrant communities in Dublin and partnered them with Irish and American third-level students.

Twelve students from Duke University in North Carolina and five Irish students from the National College of Ireland teamed up to mentor teens about the prospect of pursuing third-level education.

Nikki Bui Thi (15) and Seán McCormack (17) participated in the programme and worked in the same team that made a film about anti-social behaviour in the Liberties, which emphasises the importance of addressing social deviance in the community.

Nikki said: “I learned that people in some areas in Dublin aren’t pushed towards third-level education because they’ve been influenced by drug abuse or alcoholism.”

Seán noted that the best aspect of the programme was learning about people coming from different backgrounds.

Alex Klein (21), a public policy student at Duke University, said the experience of mentoring teens involved going on field trips to different communities in Dublin to learn about some of the social issues in underprivileged areas.

The National College of Ireland began the project six years ago but this is the first time it have teamed up with another university for the programme, which ended with yesterday’s presentation of the films that explore themes such as poverty and discrimination.