Donegal student Tara Toye says -"stand up for what you believe in"

16 Aug 2019

skills  academy

Fifty students from all over Ireland recently attended a session of the Skills Academy For Future Leaders.

The Activists and Representatives from the Irish Second-Level Student’s Union, ISSU spent three days attending events in FORSA, Conradh na Gaeilge, Leinster House, Liberty Hall, and Congress.

Tara Toye is a TY student from Deele College in Raphoe, Donegal who attended the three day Skills Academy. She spoke to Sarah Harte President of the Irish Second-Level Students’ Union.


  1. Why did you attend this year’s Skills Academy?

I attended skills academy this year because I have started to learn about the ISSU lately. I think the work that the ISSU does is amazing. I believe that students should have a say in what goes on during their school life and also the planet that we the students will spend our life living on.


  1. What have you learned from ISSUs Skills Academy?

Skills academy has taught me skills that I believe will stick with me through my whole life.

I learned how to organise a successful campaign and negotiate to get what is most important to me. I learned useful skills for interviews. I learned about a European organisation called SAME and their annual Solidarity action day, where students go and work for a day and the money earned from that day’s work goes to improve the lives of other young people. But overall I learned to be myself. It is a place for everyone, no one is left out and everyone opinions and beliefs were welcome.


  1. What was the highlight of the event?

 For me the highlight of skills academy was the social evening. First we played the picture challenge. We were spilt into groups and given a list of things we had to find or do around Dublin city and take a picture of them. We had an hour limit and the most creative team won. We then went back to liberty hall and had a pizza party and a table quiz which ended with a karaoke night. Everyone put all their energy into all the events and challenges which made it a great night and definitely one to remember!


  1. Why are events like these important for young people in modern Ireland?

It is events like this that take so many different students from all over Ireland together to share their ideas and problems within their schools and towns. Events like these teach students to be themselves and to stand up for what they believe in and not back down just because they are younger. This is what we need. Young people who will stand up for what needs to be changed. In my opinion ISSU has encouraged each and every student that attended skills academy to do that. Events like these are important for young people in modern Ireland so that we can grow in a world that we are happy with and that we will be happy with our children growing in.