The Irish American Partnership has continued to support the DCU Access Programme since 1998. In a recent interview with Therese Murphy from the Irish American Partnership, she explains what motivates them to support DCU’s Access Programme. DCU has approximately 1,300 Access students studying at undergraduate and postgraduate level across the University.
1. What inspired the Irish American Partnership to support DCU’s Access Programme?
The Partnership is passionate about empowering the next generation of Irish leaders through education, and DCU Access provided an early opportunity for us to do just that. University access scholarships even the playing field, giving students from historically underrepresented populations the financial and social support to attend university. This helps universities mirror the diversity of modern Irish society, paving the way for a stronger and more prosperous nation.
DCU’s Access Programme can make all the difference for a young person seeking to pursue the career of their dreams. We particularly appreciate the academic and personal support component of the programme; students need more than money to finish a rigorous degree programme, and DCU’s mentoring, counselling, and professional support is essential to ensuring student success. We are consistently amazed by the high graduation rates attained by Access students; it is a testament to the programme’s holistic approach to access. The Partnership is delighted to give dozens of bright, deserving students the chance to fully develop their potential through our support of the Access Programme.
2. The Irish American Partnership is a longstanding supporter of DCU. Through the years, you have attended many events and met countless students supported by the Access Programme and other scholarships. How does it make you feel to know that the Irish American Partnership is playing a part in the future success of these young people?
It feels wonderful to play a small role in facilitating the success of these intelligent, passionate, and driven students. The Irish have always valued education—it is one of the reasons the diaspora has been able to adapt and thrive all over the world. University educations have been transformative for many of our members and they are delighted to be able to give this gift to a new generation. The Access students who we have met over the years have been so impressive—articulate, involved in university life, and relentless in their pursuit of their goals. Access students consistently tell us that the scholarships allow them to take advantage of all DCU has to offer. They take fascinating courses, attend lectures and conferences, participate in clubs, play sports, and so much more. We love hearing about students’ diverse interests and activities, and are always amazed by how much they accomplish in and out of the classroom. This immersion into campus life is essential for student formation and would not occur without DCU’s welcoming and cohesive environment. Our grants to DCU Access make an incredible impact, and we are pleased to give them year after year.
3. DCU’s Access Programme is all about helping talented youth to fulfil their potential in life. What advice would you give to them?
I would tell them to never stop learning! Keep striving towards your goals, remain positive in the face of setbacks, and don’t lose sight of the things that are truly important in life. We know you will do great things!