Left to right: Claire Traenor (Teacher), Catherine Forristal, Ella Brennan, Jason Dempsey (AIB Kilkenny, Branch Manager), Aine Trait, Jessica Oyenuga, Kate Ryan & Linda Byrne (AIB Kilkenny)
The Loreto Kilkenny students created their own piece of history when they became the first Kilkenny school to reach the AIB Build a Bank National Finals.
The Bankers of Oz qualified for the national finals recently and with the help of the local branch had a very well-received presentation.
One of the students, Catherine Forristal has detailed below a highly successful banking year for the fourth year students.
"I think one of the highlights of my fourth year, or even in my four years in secondary school, was my involvement in the Build A Bank challenge.
Even from the first meeting, there was a clear spark in the air as we enthusiastically discussed our theme, our launch, our fundraising plans, and our branding.
We started off strong, completely immersing ourselves in what would be a year of excitement, busyness, and occasionally, the spot of drama.
After deciding on the theme of the Wizard of Oz and naming ourselves, “The Bankers of Oz,” we went ahead and planned our first cake sale to fundraise for basic supplies and our (what some would call) flamboyant costumes.
Our yellow brick road journey had only just begun.
Our social media was buzzing with activity round the clock with reminders for students to lodge money each week and to open accounts.
Exciting and engaging events were planned all through the year to fundraise for our chosen charity, The O’Neill Centre, a service in Kilkenny City run by Enable Ireland who provide therapy to children with physical, sensory and intellectual disabilities.
By the end of the year, we had reached our target of €1000.
We were always planning new initiatives to recruit new bank members or to raise more money for the O’Neill Centre, meeting up during class, at lunchtime, and even at the weekend.
We even decided to go a step further, designing a mural in partnership with the Keep Kilkenny Beautiful committee, incorporating our Wizard of Oz theme.
At the beginning of the year, I don’t think any of us anticipated the most incredible journey that lay ahead of us.
Every single one of us completely plunged into the challenge, whether it was frantically writing business plans at 1am, or trying to edit videos to put onto our social media and losing half of the footage, it was a difficult year at times.
But I definitely think that the friendship that blossomed as a result of this experience helped us jump every obstacle that came our way
We have all become closer than we could have ever imagined, become more like family than just teammates.
I don’t think that any of us anticipated how much we would grow and develop as individuals because of this experience, and I am so, so lucky to have been working alongside such passionate, innovative, enthusiastic, dedicated girls.
We have had such an incredible, chaotic, fulfilling, hectic, and life-changing year. The memories we’ve made, the skills we’ve learned and the friendship we have will last a lifetime.
I want to thank our teacher Ms Treanor for her guidance and Linda Byrne and other personnel from the local AIB for all their help and encouragement."