Project Children Intern Class of 2009

Adam Turner 

Queen's University Belfast - Chemistry

Interned at the Aisling Center - New York

“I helped with the internet café which involved book-keeping and at the front desk were I was responsible for employment co-ordination and accommodation. I was also responsible for producing statistical records and maintaining a mailing list. During the internship I had the opportunity to help out with a kid’s day camp during which we taught them music and games. I learnt a lot about myself and became more independent on my own.”


Brendan Clancy

Omagh College - Architectural Technology
Interned at FJB Contracting - New York

“For my internship in New York I was working for FJB Contracting. They are a Manhattan based construction company who specialise in apartment renovations. We worked on all sizes of projects from window replacements to complete interior remodelling and apartment extensions. Although my job was site based manual work I thoroughly enjoyed it. I worked alongside people of different nationalities as well as races and really enjoyed getting to know them and the different ways they all had of working together. I also had the chance to meet with different Architects and Designers and got to see the differences in planning applications and building permit applications between Ireland and America. 

By travelling to New York with Project Children I made some great friends from home. We were all made to feel at home by any of the co-ordinators whose homes we visited and were included in any activities they were organising for themselves and their families. My host family were really welcoming from the first day and made us feel like part of their family. Their generosity was overwhelming and could never be repaid. Getting to see all the sights such as Central Park, The Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty and the site of The World Trade Centre was a dream come true and at times it was hard to believe I was actually there. It has been an unforgettable experience and I will always remember the summer I spent in New York.”

Catherine Whylie


Queen's University Belfast - English & History

Interned at The Irish Examiner, New York

“Initially unsure about how much valuable experience the internship would give me, it soon became clear that I would come away from my time as a Manhattan journalist with many new skills and fresh wisdom. I am certain that I will apply these skills in both the short and long term, in my role as editor of the newly launched Gown newspaper at Queen’s, and also in the career I hope to have as a successful journalist. I have come away from my internship in NYC with an enviable portfolio which will stand me in good stead for applying to masters programmes in London.”


Christine Carlin

Queen's University Belfast - Psychology

Interned at Kids Camp New Jersey


“My name is Christine Carlin and for the summer of 2009 I had an internship at Kids Camp. This was an amazing experience that I am greatly appreciative of. As I was working with a group of children every day I can say that I am definitely more confident in working with kids and my love for working with them has also grown. In addition, spending 8 weeks away from home with initially strangers, I feel a lot more independent and my people skills have grown. 


From my internship I can also take home a lot of fantastic memories and some really good friends. I would definitely recommend to anyone to apply for project children as it is an indispensible opportunity. Thank you.”


Ciara Flanagan

University of Ulster - Accountancy

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

"One of the best summers of my life. It was such a rewarding and enjoyable experience to see these kids, who have quite a deprived background to come to a place where they didn’t have to think about those things but just have a great time doing lots of different fun and exciting activities. On our weekends we had some great times, going into New York and having random adventures and I was able to go see family and friends in Philadelphia. I met a lot of great people and made some lasting friendships. Definitely a summer I'll never forget!"

Claire McCaffrey

University - Course
Interned at Harry K. Kutner, Jr Law Firm, New York

“Spending eight weeks on an Internship in New York was a brilliant experience. Working in a law firm gave me the opportunity to see how the American legal system works and compare it to home. I was given the opportunity to go to Court and attend meetings. I was also given the chance to attend an Anti-Terrorism meeting with representatives from all levels. My host family warmly welcomed me and treated me like one of the family. Overall, it was an experience which has made me more confident and has allowed me to make close friends. I am determined to go back to the US.”

Conor McDonald 

Queen's University Belfast - International Business
Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

“Despite my initial concerns I quickly became comfortable working with the kids and loved the job. It was amazing to see them excited and intensely curious about things we take for granted, like earth worms. It was great to teach them and tell them about aspects of nature that they found interesting, and to see their reaction when they learned something new that they thought was cool.”

David Donnelly

Queen's University Belfast - Aerospace Engineering
Interned at O3B Networks, Colorado

“O3b Networks are working on launching up to 16 satellites into orbit by 2011, so it was a very interesting and unique company to work for. I learned a lot about satellite communication technology, and improved a great deal on various skills and aspects that I have learned at university. There were limitless activities to do in Colorado and with the Rockies always in sight, a wonderful place to be. I could spend all day talking about it; I’ll definitely be back! I would like to thank Project Children again for making this possible. Easily the best summer of my life.”

Dwayne McGothigan

Queen's University Belfast - Computing & I.T

Interned at Michael Stapleton Associates, New York

“I was working in the IT department and while I was there I had the opportunity to contribute to some of their ongoing work and they also gave me individual projects which I gained invaluable experience from. It was my first taste of America and I had the time of my life, New York is an amazing city and there's always something to see or do. My host family were great and couldn't do enough for me and I had some great times and memories from both working and hanging out with the other interns in New York, it was an experience I'll never forget!”

Emma McDonald

University of Ulster - Sociology 

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

“What I was most unprepared for, was not the difficult encounters nor the stressful days as these were all necessary learning experiences. But rather the intense emotional attachment that I formed with both the amazing, admirable children that attended the camp each day and the inspirational directors and staff who worked and lived there. These were the people who strive to make a difference, and create such an inspiring way of life at camp, that makes it the hardest place I’ve ever had to leave. These are gifts I will never loose nor forget, and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity in earning them.”

Eoin O'Shea

Omagh College - Architectural Technology
Interned at Neligan Construction & Roofing, Florida

"It was a very worthwhile experience. We worked quite hard all week but had great times with the people we worked with and got a true experience of what it was like to work within the construction trade in America. Staying with a host family is a great way to experience a different country as you appreciate their way of life and you get an authentic family and American experience that you would not get if you were travelling around alone. Both families were refreshingly outgoing and welcomed us into their way of life as if we were part of their family. The weekend in New York, with the rest of the interns was brilliant as we got to have a bit of fun (and madness) before we returned to Ireland." 

Fergus McAleavey

Queen's University Belfast - Law
Interned at the Office of Assemblyman Phil Boyle

“I spent the summer interning with New York State Assemblyman Phil Boyle and living in a city called Brentwood. The lady I was staying with was really nice and it didn’t take long at all to settle in and feel comfortable. Phil was very friendly and approachable and Julie, who worked for Phil, helped me out whenever she could. I spent a lot of time writing e-mails to answer questions sent in by Phil’s constituents, which was interesting because some of the questions were things you would never even think about at home. Reading an e-mail from someone who was very passionately about anti-gun control was strange to say the least and there were questions about all sorts of different things.


It was interesting to see the daily workings of an office like Phil’s, and to see how someone in a position like his reacts to news reports and criticism of state politics. It was also reassuring to know that at least somewhere in the world politicians work for their constituents, making a change from home! Overall the whole experience was brilliant. I was pretty close to the other interns and we spent a lot of time in New York. The final weekend, when everyone moved in to New York City was a real highlight and I met a lot of really nice people.”


Gemma Rafferty 

Queen's University Belfast -
Interned at the American Irish Society

“I stayed with the Gallaghers, a truly wonderful family who endeavoured to accommodate myself and the other interns in any possible way to ensure we all had a brilliant time! I completed an internship at the Irish American Society in Mineola where I met some great people and improved upon many skills most notably in communication. I was given tuition on website design in Manhattan and was able to create a site for the Society with my new found knowledge. I would highly recommend Project Children Intern Programme to any student. I have made many great friendships and cannot overstate my appreciation and gratitude to all organizers and host families.”

Laura McCrossan

Queen's University Belfast - Medicine
Interned at the Community Living Center, Michigan

“As a medical student I was given a placement in the Community Living Centre this entailed working with those with developmental disabilities. The disabilities were wide ranging and included both mental and physical problems. Downs Syndrome and cerebral palsy were common conditions found among the clients.


My activities ranged from helping out at the office to organising activities to keep the more elderly clients busy. In addition I also helped to supervise various outings including hospital appointments and spent one afternoon a week helping two of the clients serve at their second hand store. I found the rotation between these different activities not only helped keep me interested but also gave me a great insight into how CLC operated from all angles.


From spending time with the residents I feel I have gained invaluable experience that will be of great help to me in the future when I will inevitably encounter others with developmental disabilities. I completed my internship with a sense that I had helped to make their summer a more enjoyable one and with enhanced communication skills and confidence that will keep me in good stead for the rest of my medical career. I would like to thank Project Children, my host family and all those at CLC that made my experience so worthwhile.“

Laura Stronge 

Queen's University Belfast - Geography

Travel Leaders, Michigan

“I undertook a variety of tasks within the office, including organizing spreadsheets for customer accounts and itineraries, updating the marketing database and helping customers generally. It was interesting to visit the State during the depths of a recession and I learnt a lot about the resilience of businesses and people. I also visited different cities including Chicago and Denver during my stay. It was my first trip to America and I’d like to thank the sponsors for giving me such a wonderful opportunity."

Louise McLean

St Mary's Teaching College - Teaching

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey


“During my internship I worked with under-privileged African- American children between the ages of 5- 17. Each day would consist of taking groups of up to 15 children and teaching them different things about the everyday world, concentrating on nature. I found this a very enjoyable and worthwhile experience as it taught me many things about under-privileged children, adults that I was working with and finally, myself. This experience was very heart breaking and rewarding. It was a very memorable summer and changed my outlook on life.”

Leigh Ferris

Queen's University Belfast - Law
Interned at the Constituency Office of Congressman King

“I was lucky enough to be handed, by Project Children the opportunity to undertake an internship in the Constituency office of Congressman King in Long Island, New York. On departure I had feelings of apprehension and a slight trepidation about staying with a host family but also about presenting myself well in an office environment. However on arrival in New York all tensions were soon lifted as I was welcomed by a group of Project Children co-ordinators.


Throughout the trip I was in constant connection with Tom Kinirons who was a co-ordinator for my district and was always happy to help with any problems that I had. I had often heard the term “the Project Children Family”. This was a term that I first found intriguing, but I soon found it to be a perfect way to explain to others just how much everyone in the organisation cares for one another, and I am forever thankful that I had the opportunity to be a part of it." 

Niall Mooney

Queen's University Belfast - Business & I.T
Interned at the Adams County Child Welfare I.T Department, Colorado

“On my internship I was given the task of redesigning the organization’s intranet, this is a site that only the organisation employees have access to. My design was viewed and assessed by the organisation’s directors and was approved to be introduced within the organisation. Personally it gives me great pride knowing that my design is now being used within an American government building. In reflecting on the whole experience I now know that I need to dedicate more time to my studies, and also develop a more detailed plan for my future. Once I do this I feel that I will be able to succeed in my career objectives. Since coming home I have now taken the 1st steps in my future career plan, by buying 4 web addresses which I will later use as links to my company’s website.”

Niamh Hargan

Queen's University Belfast - Law & French
Interned at Adams County Child Welfare, Colorado

“One of the highlights of my internship was attending court regularly. This allowed me to observe legal practice in action and gain valuable insight into the differences between the US and Northern Ireland legal system. I was also able to meet a number of judges, magistrates, attorneys and social workers. Talking with them has definitely broadened my horizons and opened my eyes to the various options available to a law graduate. Many of the people I met this summer have become true mentors and friends. Each weekend was packed full of activities, allowing me to see some of the most beautiful parts of Colorado. This was definitely a summer to remember.”

Paula McCool

Queen's University Belfast - Law
Interned at Morris County Prosecutors Office, New Jersey

“When going to New Jersey this summer, I thought I knew what to expect, as I had travelled to Nebraska as a child with Project Children. However, this summer exceeded my expectations in every way. I was incredibly lucky to be staying with a family who treated me with such kindness and generosity, I am sure they will stay a part of my life for a long time. In terms of actual work experience, I didn’t ever think I would learn as much about what I wanted to do with my degree as I did over the eight weeks. It helped to motivate me for the following years study, and I know it is something I will never forget. I would go back in a heartbeat; the internship really is a fantastic opportunity.” 

Sara Johnston

Queen's University Belfast - Mathematics
Interned at 03B Networks, Colorado

“I worked with O3b Networks in Denver, Colorado and had 8 of the best weeks of my life! 03b Networks is a network company aiming to build an Internet infrastructure based on satellites to provide Internet access to third world countries. I gained valuable work experience, working in research, spreadsheets and data verification. My experience with Project Children has greatly changed my career aspirations, increasing my confidence and ambition."

Stacey Dillon

Queen's University Belfast - Architecture
Interned at Durr Mechanical Inc & Project Children, New York

“My internship was on site working in association with AECOM and Grimshaw Architects, one of the most world renowned Architects. I worked as an Architectural Engineering assistant to some of the most accomplished and experts in my field from all around the world. Working on a one hundred meter depth site the size of a golf course with my hard hat and goggles was challenging and will be a life long memory. I loved every second of it especially being not only in an office but a hands on project to such a huge scale.


One of the highlights of my internship was getting to know Marguerite Bradley, an intern from the past. I spent a lot of time with her working on Project Children or helping out at the family run inn, we became the "project angels" getting the office into shape. Her kind heart and willingness to go out of her way to help people was what touched me the most. Our trip to Cape Cod to visit her original host family travelling through five states in one day was an experience of a life time. The family I stayed with were amazing, not only did they welcome me but by the end I felt like I was part of their family. Without them my experience would not have been half as good and for that I am extremely grateful. I have many happy and life changing experiences from the summer I spent with Project Children.”

Terri-Marie McNaughton

University of Ulster - Psychology

Interned at Kid's Camp, New Jersey

“What I was most unprepared for, was not the difficult encounters nor the stressful days as these were all necessary learning experiences. But rather the intense emotional attachment that I formed with both the amazing, admirable children that attended the camp each day and the inspirational directors and staff who worked and lived there. These were the people who strive to make a difference, and create such an inspiring way of life at camp, that makes it the hardest place I’ve ever had to leave. These are gifts I will never loose nor forget, and consider myself lucky to have had the opportunity in earning them.”

Wayne Funston

Omagh College - Architectural Technology
Interned at Ridley Electric, New York

“The job involved routine site meetings, amending drawings and site inspections. The placement was excellent and I learned a lot. The whole trip was made even better by my host family they ensured I had the time of my life. Every weekend we did something amazing including a weekend in Canada. The highlight of the whole trip was the interns final few days in New York City. The trip was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I cannot recommend it enough. I thank everyone who helped out and have made some very special friends as a result.”