Sophia Shally, a third-year student at St Louis Community School, Kiltimagh, has been selected from hundreds of youth volunteers across Ireland and recognised as Junior Honouree for the exemplary work she carries out in her local community, at the 2020 Pramerica Spirit of Community Virtual Awards Ceremony, held earlier this week.
Sophia has been chosen as one of 20 exceptional young people from across Ireland who are considered to be some of the country’s most outstanding youth volunteers, working to make a positive impact on their local communities.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, the awards celebration was a little different this year, marking a unique milestone for the Spirit of Community awards, with the celebration taking place virtually, celebrating the creativity and commitment of Ireland’s top young volunteers.
Following an accident at home when she was seven months old, Sophia was left with life-changing burns across her face, hands and scalp. Despite the painful treatment, which is ongoing, tedious travel and long periods of time away from her friends and family, Sophia finds the strength to stay positive.
A gifted musician, Sophia uses her talents to give back to the community and recently created a CD with her mother which helped raise €10,000 for the Kevin Bell Repatriation trust.
The trust has repatriated 800 bodies to date, including Sophia’s godfather Sean Corrigan who died tragically in Boston following an accident clearing snow from a roof.
Sophia also sells calendars every year in aid of the Dogs for the Disabled and Sophia and her mother are part of the Ministry that helps to feed the homeless in the Boston Common every week.
The awards are run in partnership with The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD ) and The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI ).
The event kicked off on Monday with a virtual mindfulness workshop from inspirational speaker Annette Kelly (Little Penny Thoughts ), who gave the finalists the chance to share insights on their unique volunteering stories.
The awards event held on Tuesday saw honourees enjoy inspirational words from guest speaker Adam Harris and it gave both them and their families the chance to acknowledge their achievements and connect with each other live from their homes and schools across Ireland.