Talented Kilkenny student secures Naughton Scholarship

Exceptional: Leah, former Loreto student, is studying engineering


Leah Kenrick

A Kilkenny student has been awarded a scholarship worth €20,000 by the Naughton Foundation.

Leah Kenrick, a former student of Loreto Secondary School Kilkenny, accepted a place at University College Dublin, studying Engineering. Leah joins 35 exceptional Irish students who were awarded third level scholarships towards their studies in the areas of engineering, science, technology and maths.

Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel last week announced the winners of the 2020 Naughton Foundation Scholarship Awards. Supporting academic and innovative excellence in Irish students, this Scholarship Award is an investment in the future of Ireland’s reputation as a country with outstanding graduates.

Since its establishment in 2008 scholarships worth over €4 million have been awarded to over 300 students. The scheme started in three counties and has continued to expand annually to become a nationwide scheme in 2016.

There is one guaranteed Scholarship (€20,000) for each participating county, with some counties awarded more than one scholarship. Each scholarship is worth €5,000 per annum for each year of a student’s three or four year undergraduate degree.

Traditionally the awards are presented by founding patrons of The Naughton Foundation, Dr Martin Naughton and his wife Carmel at a ceremony with the students’ schools and families in attendance but as a result of current restrictions this event was deferred for this year.

More than 200 schools have also benefited from this prize to date with some schools receiving it on more than one occasion. Leah’s former secondary school Loreto Secondary School, Kilkenny, received a prize of €1,000 towards their school’s science facilities, for their support of these students. Last year’s winner was Ellen O’Carroll from Presentation Secondary School, Kilkenny.

“We have been awarding scholarships to encourage and reward students for their undergraduate studies in the STEM area since 2008,” said Dr Martin Naughton.

“After the difficult academic year that 2020 was, we are particularly delighted to announce this year’s scholarship winners and their schools. We are both really looking forward to celebrating with them in person next year and welcoming them to our community of over 300 Scholars and Alumni.”

The Naughton Foundation is also continuing to invest further in ‘Science in a Box’. The programme runs for sixth class pupils for a number of weeks during the primary school year with PhD students spending one hour each week co-teaching with the class teacher, a specific aspect of the science curriculum.

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