Northern Ireland Bureau Farewell

The Northern Ireland Bureau hosted a farewell event for the WIP Class of 2017 on Thursday July 27th, 2017 at the Homer Building in DC.

The evening was a chance to not only honor the Class of 2017 for their accomplishments this summer, but also the host families, work placements, and Board members that make the program what it is. The speaking portion of the evening included remarks from the Director of the Northern Ireland Bureau Norman Houston, WIP students Samuel Jackson and Tara Grace Connolly, and Vice Chair of the WIP Board of Directors Kristin Leary.

Samuel reflected on what drew him to the program, and what he will be taking back to home:

“It was the opportunity to continue to engage with others and to be immersed in difference that first drew me to WIP. I had a desire to challenge and be challenged to bring about understanding. WIP, through its debate format and speaker series drawing on various political backgrounds has on many occasions caused one to reflect, and this is what has been so valuable about the programme. Friendships across political, national and religious divides have been built and I dare say they will last as we return home.”

Tara Grace, who worked in the Northern Ireland Bureau this summer, took a moment to acknowledge that while the summer was challenging, it was also an opportunity for growth and development:

“I can safely say, that after 8 weeks here in the States no amount of reading or YouTube videos could have prepared me for this experience…Whether it is nervously preparing to introduce a guest speaker, starting a work placement on Capitol Hill, or frantically trying to work out the right way to swipe your card through the barriers on the New York subway, WIP manages to try and test you constantly, whilst simultaneously being there to catch you when things don’t go as planned, and preparing you to try again.” 

WIP will be honoring Norman Houston with the Spirit of WIP award at the Alumni Ball this November in recognition of his long-standing support of the program.

Many thanks to the Bureau for hosting a wonderful evening and allowing us the opportunity to extend our gratitude to the many people that help make the summer a great experience for the WIP Class.

Northern Ireland Bureau Farewell Event

Homer Building, Washington DC

Date Published
August 4th, 2017