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Aidan at work amid the Yale ivy

Aidan Donaghey is presented with a Yale Pennant to officially welcome him as a student at the Ivy League college by Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions, Keith Light.


By Irish Echo Staff

The leaves are turning and so is the ivy.

So it’s time for serious work at those universities known for their association with the climbing plant.

Yale included.

And serious study is now the daily lot of a young student from Derry, Aidan Donaghy, who is currently at the New Haven, Connecticut campus by way of a new Derry/Londonderry-based scholarship program jointly operated by the university and Co-operation Ireland.

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The scholarship program is aimed at students, Catholic and Protestant, who would find it financially difficult if not impossible to study at an institution such as Yale.

A senior representative of the university, Associate Director of Undergraduate Admissions Keith Light, has stated that he has been so impressed by what he has found that he is encouraging other Ivy League colleges to visit the city on the Foyle to look for students.

Light was speaking back in the summer at the launch of Co-operation Ireland’s Building Bridges Scholarship Program to a group of invited business leaders and educators.

Mr. Light was in Derry to officially welcome Aidan, a Lumen Christi pupil, to the Yale “Class of 2022.” Aidan began his studies last month.

Aidan’s tuition is being part funded through the Co-operation Ireland program that will see six students from Derry - three Protestant and three Catholic - attend the university each year.

“I have rarely been to a place in all these years where the school leaders (and) the community leaders from all walks of life have seen the value of having their young people rise up and get the tools they need to become part of this amazing renaissance,” said Keith Light.

“Those are the words I used when talking about my first trip here. I hosted all the Ivy League admissions officers at a conference and I spent time talking about my experiences here and why it was different than simply going to different parts of the world.”

Describing Aidan Donaghy as a “flag bearer,” Light said it was his honor to present him with the Yale Pennant to mark his acceptance to the college.

Peter Sheridan, CEO of Co-operation Ireland, said: “I want to thank Keith Light for coming to launch Building Bridges, and also the businessmen and women and school representatives who came along to meet with Keith.

“Building Bridges offers huge potential not only to the young people who get accepted onto the program, but also for the city who will benefit from having their sons and daughters travelling to one of the world’s leading educational institutions.

“I also want to thank the businessmen and women who have already contributed to the Building Bridges education fund that will allow our young people to travel to the United States for this life changing opportunity, and encourage anyone who would like to help support the program to get in touch with Co-operation Ireland.”

Peace building charity Co-operation Ireland will manage the Building Bridges programs, with the support of Yale University and a consortium of interested academics and business representatives in Derry/Londonderry.

Students from the city, who are accepted to study and who are in receipt of a full needs-based scholarship from Yale, can apply for the additional merit-based scholarship, which means they can concentrate wholly on their studies and not have to work during term time.

More at http://www.cooperationireland.org/programmes/youth-education-programmes/building-bridges-yale-scholarship/.