Irish Embassy Hosts Farewell Reception for WIP Class of 2023

On Thursday July 27th, the WIP Class of 2023 was hosted by the Embassy of Ireland USA at the Ambassador’s Residence in DC. The evening was a chance to not only honor the Class of 2023 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 Ambassador Geraldine Byrne Nason, WIP students Matthew Talbot and Aoife Joy Keogh, and WIP Board Member Virginia McGregor.

Matthew Talbot, who completed his work placement at the Irish Embassy expressed his gratitude to all the of WIP’s supporters who were in attendance.

“Working at the Embassy has been an invaluable experience. One of the WIP values is co-operation, and this is integral to working at the Embassy. Thank you to all the Embassy staff for the tremendous welcome and support you gave me over the summer. 

It is plain to see that WIP relies on all of its supporters. I am eternally grateful to each and every one of you for giving me the opportunity of a lifetime to build connections and foster peace throughout the island of Ireland.”

Aoife Joy Keogh, who worked in the office of Congressman Joe Courtney, reflected on the character of the Class of 2023, and what they will be taking back home from their time in DC:

“This program is ultimately about service and leadership. So while it is the 29 of us who have been lucky enough to have been given the opportunity to come to DC; we are all returning home now to bring the knowledge, skills, and values we have developed and acquired here to the communities we serve.

This time next week I’ll be back working 24 hour shifts with young people in residential care, and in a few weeks time I’ll be meeting my Leaving Cert students from last year in the Finglas Community Learning Hub who will be getting their exam results and myself and the team will be helping them to navigate the college admissions system. And I hope that bringing the experiences I have had here, and the knowledge and skills I have developed through WIP to these young people will aid me in supporting them to realize their own potential.”

The Washington Ireland Program is grateful for Embassy for hosting such a delightful event and for the continuous support that the Irish government provides WIP through Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Further and Higher Education, Research, Innovation and Science.

The Washington Ireland Program supports, inspires, and develops leaders from a wide range of communities and backgrounds who are committed to building a future of peace and prosperity for Northern Ireland and Ireland.

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