Gaisce – The President’s Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15-25, which is proven* to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community and team challenges. It is a direct challenge from the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, to all young people to dream big and realise their potential.
Gaisce is non-competitive and self-directed: participants progress along each award level (Bronze, Silver or Gold) choosing personal, physical and community activities they wish to undertake and taking part in an adventure journey also. A trained adult mentor, their President’s Award Leader (PAL), supports them throughout the process. The more time and energy participants give, the greater the reward.
Young people who complete the Gaisce programme, receive a medal and certificate signed by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins. Should they progress to achieve a Gold award, Michael D. Higgins presents them with this at a special ceremony in Dublin Castle.
Gaisce is active across all 26 counties and, through the Joint Award Initiative, an innovating partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, young people living in Northern Ireland are able to achieve a Gaisce Award at any level too. Through a partnership with the Duke of Edinburgh’s International Award, Gaisce Awards are also recognised internationally.
Since its inception in 1985, over 370,000 young people have participated in the Gaisce programme. Today, more than 25,000 young people register for the Gaisce challenge each year, pursuing the award through more than 850 organisations (Gaisce Award Partners) located right across the country. In any one year, Gaisce supports these organisations and the more than 1,200 President Award Leaders (PALs) working and volunteering in them to mentor young people through their Gaisce journey.
Gaisce celebrates the individuality of each participant and ensures while there are many pathways to achieving a Gaisce Award, each Gaisce journey is as unique and expansive as our participants determine and equally recognised.
For more information, please visit www.gaisce.ie
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