The Cork Mother Jones Committee is proud to announce that the 2022 Spirit of Mother Jones Award will be presented to Don O’Leary, director of the Cork Life Centre. This is the tenth annual award which the committee has made and Mr O’Leary is the first Cork man to receive it. The award will be presented later this week to Mr O’Leary at the Spirit of Mother Jones Festival on Saturday 30th July at 1pm at the Maldron Hotel, Shandon.
Jim Nolan on behalf of the Cork Mother Jones Committee stated;
“We are really pleased to announce that the Spirit of Mother Jones Award for 2022 has been awarded to Don O’Leary, director of the Cork Life Centre for his work and commitment to providing an alternative learning environment to many young people who are outside the mainstream education system.
Specifically Don has shown by his example and dedication to the young people how they can make progress within a different system which places them at the very core attempts to meet their unique needs and requirements.”
The Committee’s citation for Don O’Leary and the Cork Life Centre includes the following;
‘For his courage and determination to ensure that children and young people are not left behind by the Irish education system.
For his Trojan efforts and that of the volunteers and staff at the Cork Life Centre to create a positive and practical community of learning which is welcoming, supportive and encouraging of young people.
For his advocacy of human rights and social justice especially in relation to children’s rights and their opportunities to progress to the best of their creative abilities and individual talents which contribute so much to a better community and world.
For his refusal to accept that one size fits all in the Irish education system and for his refusal to compromise in relation to this fundamental student centred approach focused on authentic inquiry and experiential learning and measures success in a radically different way to the standard competitive exam system.’
On behalf of the Cork Mother Jones, we congratulate Don O’Leary and the Cork Life Centre.