Our work Youth and Education Banking on the Future - The difference it makes We are always struck by the enormous impact that this programme has on the participants in just a few days. Here are some comments from participants, parents and teachers about previous programmes. Over the years we have worked with a large number of schools[i], shown below. Megan Stevenson who participated in the 2016 programme, emailed Co-operation Ireland to say, "I just wanted to email and say thank you so much for the opportunity and allowing me to go with you last year to Morgan Stanley. It really helped me boost my confidence and due to going over to London I got to meet Sarah Ferguson who works for Citi and back in December Citi had a tea with technology session for women, where I met her again and was discussing the Citi Spite programme which they run for females who are studying technology at university. When there I filled out an application form for the Citi Spire programme and got offered a place. I am currently half way though the programme and have a female mentor within citi who I would meet up with twice a month and go around once a month to the Citi offices in Belfast and take part in different workshops. The programme has really helped me thoughtout my first year at university and is such an amazing experience. I don't think I would be able to thank you all enough for the opportunity and how much it has helped me and because of co-operation Ireland, I now have networks in Morgan Stanley and Citi which I am sure will help me alot in the future." Parents of a 2015 participant, Trevor and Audrey Watson from Fermanagh, whose daughter Rachel took part this year said “May we, as parents, pass on our appreciation and respect to you both and to Co-operation Ireland for a well organized and very useful programme that must have benefited so many participants in the years it has run and we hope it continues to benefit many more in the future…Rachel thoroughly enjoyed the experience and is keen to keep up the connections made in both friendships and business.” When asked whether they felt that the programme had benefited or inspired their students, Cathal Rice, teacher of participants Aoife and Holly at St Colman’s High School, Ballynahinch, said “My students came back confident and ambitious young professionals ready to work towards their career in business.” Miss E Armstrong, principal of Collegiate Grammar School, Enniskillen, said “Both girls were already active participants in their communities and future plans, but this experience has sharpened and honed their thinking. They grew in understanding that a graduate can work in many different areas and they came back buoyed up and motivated even more to achieve their potential. The girls were also invigorated by the experience of sharing their worlds with others and understanding the worlds of others.” Talking about the main ‘takeaways’ from the programme, Nikita McDonnell from St Dominics Secondary School, Dublin, said “For me, how important networking is; how choosing a college course doesn’t mean you’re necessarily tied to 1 job and that I should get involved in anything – good or bad experience, I can always further my learning by participating!” Asking our students to sum up their experience in one sentence, Calvin Reid from Carrickfergus said “Fast paced, educational, brilliant experience, loved every minute”; Gerard McCann from Newry said “Unbelievably beyond my expectations” and Holly Cranston from Killyleagh said “An excellent experience – I would encourage anyone who has this opportunity to go for it – I’ve really gained in confidence, people skills and independence.” [i]‘Banking on the Future’ has been opened out to a number of schools and youth groups in Dublin including Ballyfermot and St Michael’s Youth Centres, St Dominic’s Secondary School and Kylemore College as well as a range of NI schools, including: Grosvenor Grammar School, Belfast; Coleraine College; Assumption Grammar School, Ballynahinch; Belfast Royal Academy; The Boys Model School, Belfast; The Wallace High School, Lisburn; Collegiate Grammar School, Enniskillen; St Colm’s High School, Twinbrook; Aquinas Grammar School, Belfast; St Malachy’s College, Belfast; Belfast High School; Carrickfergus Grammar School; St Colman’s College, Ballynahinch; St Patrick’s College, Ballymena; Ashfield Girls' High School; Oakgrove Intergrated College; Coleraine Grammar School and St Paul’s High School, Bessbrook. Each year, the team at Morgan Stanley recruit 10-12 young people from schools and organisations within their networks in London.