JCI Mayo TOYP winners, Padraic Rocliffe, Laura Beston and Aaron Hannon, received further recognition last weekend when they were announced as three of JCI Ireland’s Top Outstanding Young People.
The ten JCI Ireland TOYP award winners were announced on Saturday, August 29, during a virtual awards ceremony, MC’d by RedFM DJ, Stevie G, that was streamed on JCI Ireland’s Facebook page.
These annual awards were launched in Cork earlier this year, where the National awards were scheduled to be hosted in July. A record number of nominations were received with almost 200 nominations, so the judges had the hard task of narrowing these down to just ten.
Winners are inspiring individuals who have made a significant contribution across a wide range of diverse areas including science, business, culture, humanitarian and personal achievement to name a few. Their actions have changed the lives of young Irish men and women across the country by bringing important issues into the public forum.
Along with the three Mayo winners, also awarded were Dundalk woman Tara Erraught, a world-renowned opera singer who is flying the flag for Ireland across the globe; Irish professional golfer, Shane Lowry; Conor McGinn, the co-founder and CEO of Akara Robotics, a university spin-out with a mission to develop robots that support and empower people in the healthcare industry; Irish rowing heroes Gary and Paul O'Donovan; Scientific and environmental issues speaker, Fionn Ferreira who has created a novel method to remove microplastic particles from water; Motivational speaker and performance coach and Former professional rugby player, Damian Browne; and Jack O’Connor, an advocate for the de-stigmatisation of those suffering from mental health issues and serves as the United Nations Youth Delegate for Ireland.
JCI Ireland National President, Ronan Neacy commented: "We are grateful and proud to be awarding such outstanding young people. What the honourees have achieved has been exceptional and the positive changes that they have made have been remarkable."
When recently receiving his award, Mayo winner Padraic Rocliffe was asked what it meant to him to be a 2020 TOYP Winner. He said: "You just need to look back at previous nominees over the last couple of years and realise the real privilege that we have to be here today, receiving this award. JCI is a great foundation and it gives us a great platform as young people to further develop and make that change across the country, nationally and internationally for others to improve. It’s a privilege.”
Laura Beston remarked how proud she is to be from Mayo and delighted to be acknowledged for the work she is doing. She commented that JCI does similar work to what she is striving to do in life and that "it’s really lovely to be able to take a moment to recognize so many great people in that context".
During Aaron Hannon’s recent interview, he commented that it’s really exciting to receive the award but it’s not really why you do it. "It’s to try to do things that help people. It’s a massive honor to be nominated but it’s all about doing things that make a difference."
These ten winners were put forward to the TOYP world awards, where winners were determined by both a public vote and a judging panel. Limerick Man Jack O’Connor reached the Top 20 World Finalists, with Mayo man Aaron Hannon announced as one of the ten outstanding young people in the world. He was due to be awarded at the (JCI ) World Congress in Yokohama, Japan, this November, but it’s recently been announced that these world awards will now also be a virtual experience.
For more information on these National winners, JCI Ireland have more details on their Facebook page and JCI Mayo will share up-to-date information on the World TOYP virtual awards ceremony on their social media platforms, where all can support Aaron when he is acknowledged on the world stage.