Project Children Intern Class of 2011


Aisling Armstrong

Queen’s University Belfast - Politics, Philosophy and Economics                            Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

"During my internship with project children I was a camp counselor at Kids Corporation Camp in Newton, New Jersey. The camp catered to Newark city kids which came from poor backgrounds. The kids arrived at the camp at 9am and stayed until 3pm. During this time it was my role to do different activities with the kids and it was very touching watching the kids enjoy themselves.  I believe this experience will be very beneficial for me in the future as it taught me how to work with a large group of kids independently and has given me the confidence to work with kids and act on my own initiative.

Before completing my internship I was unsure of what career path I wanted to take, however despite this I have decided that my future will involve working with kids. As the weeks went on I concluded that my internship goes hand in hand with my degree which will later lead me to teaching children. I am more than grateful for the experience I have gained this summer and also the opportunity to work with wonderful people and amazing kids who I will be in contact with for many years to come." 


Alana Teague

Omagh College - Civil Engineering and Transport                                                Interned at Durr Mechanical Construction, INC. New York

"As a Civil Engineering student, I found myself extremely lucky whilst working for Durr Mechanical Engineering. Durr Mechanical is currently working on the United States Largest Water Filtration Plant. To be given the opportunity to work on a multi-million dollar project was nothing I ever imagined when I was applying for an internship in America. I have been given so many opportunities throughout my internship, not only to learn how Construction works in America but to meet so many great people and significantly open my eyes to how Engineering is carried out across the world.

I have gained great knowledge and experience here that I could never have received in the industry at home. A major part of any internship is the interest to learn and gain knowledge. Everyone has been so friendly and willing to help you along the way. I have been made feel very welcome throughout my time in America, in both my internship and host accommodation. I am happy to return home having made some life long friends and a great insight into Construction and Engineering in the United States."


Ashley Russell

Omagh College - Engineering with Specialisms                                                      

Interned at Engler Electric Co. Florida


"I am an Electrical Engineering student and I have learned numerous scenarios that I could face me when I finish my course. With my employer Mike Lentz he showed me many things which I kept me busy. I met a lot of his employees including project managers of the projects he was working at. He showed me plans created with AutoCAD of different projects that he was working on and had to do a few “take offs” which is looking at plans before and after the project had been finished. Things like the number of lights, outlets, exit signs, switches, smoke and heat detectors, length of cable that will be needed. Mainly everything new that has to be installed.

I also got to sit at a board meeting which happens every other week to discuss the problems and questions that contractors and sub-contractors want to ask and discuss with everyone. It is mainly the main members of their crew that attend. I also went to different bid openings, which is kind of a silent auction for projects that contractors are willing to work at, their bids are read out by a committee and whoever has calculated the cheapest total at the end will work at the site such as schools, hospitals, renovations etc… mainly buildings that are funded by the government.

Due to me being not “Union” and because everything for the project was funded by the government I was unable to work at major things on site that I knew and have experience in like installing the lights, switches etc.. with the crew which was unfortunate but I still appreciate everything he has done and taught me even when he was quite busy himself."


Carleen Hughes

University of Ulster – Marketing                                   

Interned at USG Performing Arts, Greenwood Lake, New York


"Throughout the summer, my internship has been working for Unateresa Gormley at USG Performing Arts. Her business organizes and hosts Irish events in New York City. One of the events that she has been organizing for the past year is the Big Apple Rose of Tralee. It was very successful, as her rose Caitlin Mc Neill has made it to the final in Tralee, Ireland. Our task for the summer was to organize and host a reunion luncheon for all of the past New York & Tri-state area roses since 1959. I felt that I could apply a lot of job-relevant knowledge that I have gained from my studies in marketing.

Each of the interns, were allocated different roles of responsibility. Myself and another intern Yvonne were responsible for marketing, advertising and pr. Within these fields our tasks included writing press releases, attending networking events, and also promoting the event through local press and social networking sites.  As my field of study is marketing, I think that all of the skills and information I have gained can be transferred both into my studies and into any future working environment. This internship has been a very valuable learning experience both for myself personally and for my career."


Catherine McCarron

University of Ulster – Social Work                                                  

Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey


"My placement was in a Kids Camp in Newton, New Jersey. I have a degree in Psychology and am currently carrying out a degree in Social Work. Within my social work degree there are two placement elements. My first one is going to be working in a hospital with adults so I feel that working at kids camp was invaluable to me to gain more experience of working with children. Family and children services are a huge part of social work and experience of working in that field has really helped me. Most of the kids were inner city Newark kids and came from different backgrounds and cultures. This helped me to improve my communication skills and put all the theory I learned into practice.

The kids were able to talk to us about any problems they had and I was able to offer them advice. Each child is different and I could see that different methods of communication worked for different children. I learned how to manage large groups of children and divide my attention. I thoroughly enjoyed working with the children and I can honestly say that I was touched by their innocence. I think that my experience at kids camp will stay with me throughout my career."


Conor Stewart

University of Glasgow – Accountancy & Finance  

Interned at Michael Stapleton Associates, New York


"My internship was at MSA Security, a high-tech security company specializing in various types of explosive detection. They supply explosive detection canines and x-ray machinery and have clients such as the New York Stock Exchange, Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty. I worked in the finance department with the CFO, Mick and three staff Accountants Oleg, Wendy and John. On first arrival, I was immediately made feel very welcome and it wasn’t long before I felt like a real member of the team.  My work was focused mainly around the implementation of a new computer system for tracking the company’s fixed assets, at cost of over $8.2milliion.

I was given a great deal of responsibility and control over my own work which was incredibly rewarding and gave me a real sense of achievement. Everyone in the company was extremely friendly and on my last day they threw me a leaving party and took me to their corporate seats at a Yankees game. The work I completed at MSA was very relevant to my degree and has given me a new level of understanding of how accounting systems work within an organization.  This experience will no doubt greatly help me in my future studies and career and I’m incredibly grateful to all those who helped make it happen."


Cormac Mallon

Queen’s University Belfast – Law 

Interned at Binghamton City Court, New York


"Courtesy of Project Children, I had the opportunity to spend the summer interning at Binghamton City Court, New York. This internship proved to be amongst the most enjoyable, advantageous and rewarding experiences of my life thus far. Working alongside Court Attorneys and clerical officers proved beneficial in equipping me with the key employability skills that are a prerequisite for any prospective lawyer. During my legal internship in City Court, I had responsibility for informing the judge on the factual circumstances of cases through the preparation and drafting of case reports, motions and memos, which served to inform the judiciary as to not only the factual basis of the trial before the bench, but also to any questions of law that may arise from the circumstances of the case. Furthermore, I had responsibility for conducting legal research, organizing meetings and liaising with both District and Defence Attorneys on behalf of the Court.

Through developing contacts within City Court, I had the opportunity to spend a few days working alongside attorneys in the offices of the Attorney General of New York, Eric Schneiderman.  This unique opening served only to enhance my experience of the US legal world. In addition to conducting duties similar to those within City Court, I was afforded the exceptional chance to meet judges who have served with distinction at both the New York Supreme Court and US federal levels, which proved both exciting and insightful and a motivation to enter the legal profession. Moreover, I was afforded the opportunity to attend a conference delivered by Mr Robert Duffy, Lieutenant Governor of New York, and to personally meet Donna Lupardo, a New York Assemblywoman representing the 126th District.

Not only has this internship enabled me to develop my professional skills, I feel privileged to have met so many incredible people. I will be forever grateful to Project Children for providing me with this once in a lifetime opportunity, and especially to Ms Eileen Fox, as I sincerely believe that I could not have been placed with a more welcoming host and she is one of the key reasons why my time in Binghamton proved so enjoyable, and to her I will be forever appreciative."

Danielle Neeson

Queen’s University Belfast - English                                                                Interned at The Irish Examiner, New York City

“As part of the Project Children Intern Program, I spent six weeks participating in a journalism internship. I worked at The Irish Examiner, an Irish American weekly newspaper that is circulated throughout the Tri-State area and Massachusetts with a readership of 45, 000, it is the fastest growing newspaper in the United States. During my internship I covered a range of different aspects of journalism and the publishing process, from the differences between writing for newspaper and magazine to laying out the articles along with pictures and side bars before going to print. The first article I wrote for The Irish Examiner was about the week I spent in Mississippi with some of the other interns. It was an amazing feeling to see my writing on a two page spread with my name at the top.

I also spent considerable time working on a 24 page supplement for the fall issue of the quarterly magazine, Irish Connections. For the supplement, I worked alongside Tourism Ireland to create a informative and concise guide for visitors to Ireland this autumn. During the internship I was also given the opportunity to meet and interview many different people from the Irish Consul General to Congressman Peter King, whom I met with and wrote an article on. This experience has been unforgettable. I have gained key skills required for a career in journalism and have been involved in every part of the process of newspaper and magazine publishing. The Irish Examiner was an excellent place to work and I enjoyed every minute of it.”


Emer McCool

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

“During my stay in Morris County New Jersey and indeed the Prosecutors Office I have been given the opportunity to do, see and learn a lot. It has been a once in a lifetime experience and I have enjoyed every second of it. I am going into my final year of Law at Queens University Belfast and working at the Prosecutors has been invaluable. It has given me the chance to witness and experience the legal system in a different part of the world and work on current on-going cases. Working as an intern at the Prosecutors Office has developed many of my legal and professional skills. Through tasks assigned to us by the Assistant Prosecutors I have been able to improve my legal researching and writing skills which in the long-run will assist me greatly in my future career.

We got the opportunity to go on field trips every Friday to various places including the Police Academy, the Morris County Police Facilities which encompass the CIS, the K9 Unit and the Bomb-squad unit, the Secret Service and we also had a presentation from the Morris County Medical Examiner. All these trips were equally interesting and informative to visit. They were a great opportunity to receive first hand experience in these fields of work. Each visit we learned something new and got the chance to ask questions. At the beginning of our internship we were lucky to get the chance to witness a trial that was on going, it was a sexual assault case called. It was an unsettling case but it was invaluable to see the AP’s at work especially during the closing arguments of both the attorneys. It gave me an insight to the work involved with a major sexual crimes case and how the case is addressed in the courtroom.

Working at Morris County Prosecutors Office has been a massive learning curve for me. It was largely very useful to witness the legal system in another jurisdiction and to see how court is organized and how it is run. Meeting Mr. Bianchi was a privilege and working with him and his colleagues has been a once in a lifetime experience. I have learned so much about the law in the States and noticed the differences and similarities it has with the law in the UK.

My whole experience in the USA has been incredible. I stayed with a fabulous family and got to see brilliant things like NYC and Philadelphia and the Jersey Shore. I ate delicious new foods and met some lovely people and this is on top of getting to work in a Law Office everyday. I have had one of the best summers of my life and I hope to return to the USA whether in a business or pleasure capacity or both in the near future.”


Emer Mimnagh

LYIT Donegal – Graphic & Web Design                                                             Interned at USG Performing Arts, Greenwood Lake, New York

“I completed my internship with three other interns in USG International New York, in the Marketing and Design area. On our first day we were assigned our own project (Big Apple Rose of Tralee Reunion in the Fitzpatrick Hotel), which as a graduate, gave me a real feel for the business I would love to work in. My day consisted of branding the company and our event. Areas we worked on where social media, press releases and funding. As a team we worked really well together but also had the insurance if something wasn't working out, our mentor and boss would be there to advice us. Before we knew it the day of our event had arrived and the nerves had fully kicked in, but thankfully our seven weeks of hard work had paid off and it turned out to be a great success. As part of our achievement for our internship we were awarded that day with a citation from the New York City Council which put a great ending to our successful event.

Apart from my work on the reunion I participated in numerous and worthwhile meetings, including just a few, were Brendan Farrell CEO of XSP and Finalist for the Ernst and Young 2011 Entrepreneur of the Year Award, who we help at his fundraiser "Alabama Shindig" and in return brought us to his office in Trump Towers, Wall St. We also had meeting with James Kelly New York CEO of GOAL International, Congress Man Peter King and spent a memorable evening at the Irish Consulate Noel Kilkenny’s Pent House at the awarding of Christine Quinn- Irish Women of the Year. Overall, this internship for me has been an undoubted success, from the encouraging mentors and skills I've picked up to the possibility of further employment in New York.”


Emmet Blee

Omagh College – Construction Engineering                                                      Interned at Neligan Construction, Florida

“I am studying a foundation degree in construction management and engineering at South West College in Omagh. I did my internship in Jacksonville, Florida. My placement was very manual and had a lot of laboring, carrying bricks and digging etc. I have been lucky enough to develop some basic construction skills, like laying pavers, which could be useful in the future.”


Gary Magee

Queen’s University Belfast – Environmental Planning                                         Interned at Dallas Directories, INC. Texas

“Upon being placed in an internship located in Dallas Texas I was immediately excited. The prospect of spending a summer living and working within the State that many consider being the heartbeat of American culture was extremely appealing, and it did not disappoint. Upon my arrival to Dallas I was greeted by some of the friendliest, most accommodating people I have ever met. I immediately felt at home and initial reservations about living with a host family were overshadowed by the hospitality and kindness provided by both Ken and Peggy Fleming.

My internship involved working with Group Dynamix, an amazing company which specialized in team building programs for youths, schools and corporate groups.  My role involved conducting market research for future marketing campaigns, as well as facilitating some of the team building programs offered at the company. Everyday at work was an adventure, the foundation for this being provided by the positive attitudes of my colleagues.

Living in Dallas for the summer also gave me the opportunity to fully experience and appreciate the culture of Texas. This was furthered by trips to Austin (keep it weird), San Antonio, where I bumped into the Dallas Cowboys during their training camp and visited both the Alamo and the Institute of Texan Cultures and the city of Fort Worth which enabled me the opportunity of seeing real Cowboys in their natural setting. Moreover, having been able to experience the Mesquite Pro Rodeo and a VIP tour of Cowboys Stadium, the overall experience of living in Dallas Texas this summer has been furthered. Therefore, I can honestly say that the internship experience provided by Project Children is a once in the life time opportunity and one that has allowed me to meet some remarkable people and form lifelong friendships.”


Gavin Booth

University of Ulster – Law with Criminology                                                      Interned at the Office of Congressman Peter King, New York

“My internship with Project Children was with Congressman Peter King in Massapequa Park, New York. This opportunity offered me the chance to explore the world of US politics from a Congressional Office on Long Island New York. For me it was working for Congressman Peter King. He takes a Right Wing American Republican stance on the world a lot like most Long Islanders. This stance is mainly a pro-business, white and rich, a choice that moves along the far right. For me coming from a left wing stance that borders on socialist theories about the world I imagined this would be hard for me to adapt to. As I went to work though I soon realized that Peter King is not like the average republican. He never votes along party lines and famously took the side of President Clinton over his party a few years back. As well as this he played a key role in helping to shape the Good Friday Agreement (1998) in Northern Ireland an event that has shaped all our lives for the better. Pete Kings Office is surrounded by photos form home and each morning I am greeted with Ian Paisleys smile on the wall as I enter the Office soon Followed by Gerry Adams above.

Daily life is the office was at first a strange and unusual experience for me. Constituents really rely on Congressman King and with his role as Chair of Homeland Security he is held dear in the hearts of the American people. Many constituents are now in a time of uncertainty and they fear the future so they constantly voice there concerns on the economy, the ongoing wars and the up and coming election. Peter Kings office was a very interesting experience for me having had a previous love of world politics. Peter King himself has risen through the US politics world as an emerging star of the American Republican process. He originally came from one of the centers of New York’s Irish community, Woodside/Sunnyside in Queens and his family originated from the Irish Republic. As well as this he played a major role in developing the Northern Irish Peace Process with Ex-President Bill Clinton and from this he has always had a vested interest in Ireland and its future. Having previously interned within the Stormont Executive we soon found lots to talk about. He especially was interested when we arranged for the Interns to meet Peter King. I'm sure he found a great sense of achievement when he was able to sit among both Protestant and Catholic young people and hear how we have changed and developed as a society, something he contributed towards.

My daily routine in work was always subject to change, like most political processes your day can change in an instant. On many occasions I would start my day by keeping current with local and international news. It is important to know what is going on in the world as many constituents voice these issues to the office and offer their views on how they would like the Congressman to act. It is my job to pass these messages and inform the Congressman of any events he needs to be made aware of. As well as this me and Peter King’s team deal with constituents needs on issue like Veterans Affairs, the Army, the Military, Loan modifications with the all US banks and even with government agencies such as the FBI. My time with the Congressman Peter King and his staff Ann, Patricia, Kevin, Michael and Kathy will be something I will always remember. This kindness and friendly attitude to me shows the deep relationship that remains between America and Ireland. For me I will never forget the chance Project Children gave me and I hope this program continues well into the future.  

I have learned a considerable amount from my time in Congressman Peter Kings office and feel I have been able to use skills developed through my Law Degree to help aid the office. I have also developed a deeper understanding of the American Political process from this.” 


Grainne O’Dowd

University of Ulster – Public Relations                                                               Interned at the Turning Stone Resort

“I am studying Public Relations at University and for the summer I had the opportunity to go to New York for an internship at Turning Stone Resort. I really enjoyed the experience and it will benefit me in my career and as a person. In relation to my degree I got to gain experience in advertising and marketing. This opportunity gave me an insight on how to make posters, radio advertisements and organize events in relation to public relations. I also really enjoyed working in graphic design and I am now considering this as a future job.  Working at Turning Stone has also enhanced my skills of dealing with the public and problem solving. I now have a better understanding of what is required to be a successful public relations practitioner.

This internship has also gave me knowledge and understanding on how big companies work and communicate with each other and members of the public. I had the opportunity to work with different cultures and in different departments in the Casino. It has enhanced my communication and team work skills. This internship has given me the opportunity to experience all aspects of public relations and I now feel more confident in my choice of degree in Public Relations.”

James Lennon

Queen’s University Belfast - History & Politics                                                    Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

“For my internship with project children I was assigned to Kids Corporation camp in New Jersey. My internship coincided with my degree to a certain extent as I study History and Politics and I would like to pursue a career in teaching. Working with the kids indefinitely confirmed that teaching is the career path I want to take. It was great to spend the summer with the kids and watch them learn and develop more skills each week. The camp offered a range of activities for the children and various programs which guided their learning curves.

Programs such as nature lectures allowed the kids to see what way the world worked outside of big city life. The Art classes gave the kids an opportunity to be creative and often to discover talents they were not aware they had prior to coming to camp. Many of the kids who attended the camp had never had experiences with art or nature and it was thrilling to see them enjoy the programs offered at camp. We took the kids on hikes through the forests and this was a great opportunity for them engage with you and ask questions about the environment that they were in. The experience I gained is most definitely invaluable and I will take this experience and put it into practice in the future.”


John Taggart

Queen’s University Belfast - Law                                                                     Interned at Harry Kutner, Esq

“For any law student with aspirations of legal practice, securing an internship in a busy law office with the opportunity of hands-on experience is a tantalizing prospect. I was fortunate enough to enjoy a summer placement in the office of Harry Kutner Attorney at Law, and the opportunity to regularly visit the court and converse with other attorneys, clients and judges was one I soon began to relish. The workload and schedule of an intern should necessarily reflect the reality of the prospective profession and admittedly there were occasional humdrum moments that served as a stark contrast to the colorful scenes of the courtroom. Perhaps of most interest to me, and certainly drawing distinct parallels with my studies, was the imperative legal research that needed conducted for each case.

Many of the research mechanism and databases utilized by law students at home are equally important to attorneys in the U.S; despite the obvious contrasts in the content of the relevant laws. I felt that this aspect of my internship was where I could exert a genuine influence on the direction of many clients' cases, and knowing that my work was appreciated was refreshing and rewarding. Shadowing the attorneys in court, conferences and dispositions was undoubtedly stimulating, but engaging directly with the case facts and points of contention helped hone my analytical skills and forced me to approach problematic scenarios with a legalistic mindset. Both of these aspects of my tenure at Mr. Kutner’s office afforded me a well-rounded insight into the life of a busy legal practice.”


Kristopher Armour

Queen’s University Belfast – Aerospace Engineering                                           Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey

“This summer has by far been my best.  My internship at Kids Camp NJ allowed me to work with kids from a background I’ve only guessed about, one of the buses we had come to camp full of kids actually passed by a drive by shooting on the way to camp... and we were none the wiser as the kids were still all smiles, giggles and shouts when they got here.  We got the kids every morning, Monday to Friday, at 9 and they wouldn’t leave until about 3... and in all honesty sometimes that 3 o'clock mark was a relief but when the kids come back and are screaming "Mr. Kris, Mr. Kris" with smiles on their faces, you kind of forget how much of a torture they are, and it brightens up your day just seeing kids remembering you!! We took the kids on hikes, nature talks, art and they all got medical checks from Jen which was something that could make a huge difference to them.  Also we were in charge of maintaining the land that the camp was on which involved weed-whacking, painting and many other things, including my favorite of cutting down big dead tree's with a chainsaw!! This summer was fantastic, and if I get the chance I’ll come back! Thank you kids camp for having me!”


Kylie Doherty

University of Ulster – Accounting                                                                       Interned at The Turning Stone Resort

“For my internship with Project Children I am working at the Oneida’s Turning Stone Resort. It offers world-class golf, gaming, entertainment, and accommodations. Since opening in 1993, Turning Stone has become a destination resort and one of the top five tourist destinations in New York State, hosting more than 4 million visitors a year. I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to intern at the resort. My experience at Turning Stone has truly been memorable. Even though I was an intern they treated me in the same way as the would with new employees. It is company policy to attend a two orientation before commencing work. In these two days I got an insight into how the Oneida Indian Nation developed a bingo hall into a world class resort. I found the Shakowi Cultural Center particularly intriguing as I was able to learn about the heritage of the Oneidas.

The Human Resource department was so welcoming and eager to make sure that I took away with me as much as possible from the internship. My schedule was based around a number of departments which they felt I would gain the most experience from to benefit me in my degree. I was very much involved in all the financial aspects of the Casino. This involved spending time working alongside the cash manager and the accounts payable team. I feel that I have gained invaluable work experience. From interacting with the public and co-operating with employees, I am now confident that I can add these skills to help further myself in my future career.”


Laura King

University of Ulster – Business Studies                                                             Interned at The Supportive Housing Works

“During my internship with Supportive Housing Works, I have been involved in the organization of setting up volunteer projects in order assess and meet the needs of the homeless families in transition- moving from a shelter to supportive housing. I have also been on many housing inspection meetings to SHW's properties where the clients are now living to assess their living arrangements, their property and their general well being. Another great aspect of my internship was working alongside such a diverse range of people that I would not be exposed to in Northern Ireland, including my work colleagues and SHW's clients, and I have made really great friends which I will keep in touch with. Both my internship and my host family have made my experience in America very enjoyable and beneficial for my future. I would very much like to return one day and I feel very fortunate to part-take on this program as it has been an once in a life-time opportunity.”


Lindsay Laverty

Omagh College – Electrical Engineering – Wind Turbine                                      Interned at Wedyman Electric, INC.

"The energy crisis throughout the world is constantly causing companies to evolve. Luckily for me Engler Electric has just opened up a new branch dedicated to renewable energy. I was assigned to work in the renewable sector. My internship was designed to help with my studies and to learn valuable work experience.  I worked with some of the biggest solar projects in upstate New York.
I was able to apply all of my engineering degree to my work.

I was fortunate enough to travel to different cities and states for work and pleasure.  My time in America has been a great learning curve, teaching me American culture and work experience. I have had the time of my life here and look forward to coming back to continue with my career.

Project children is an organisation I will always be a part of.  Project Children has given me an experience I could have never had without the dedication and commitment of all the people involved in the organisation."


Mary Fearon

Queen’s University Belfast – Chemistry                                                              Interned at Employment Horizons

“Thanks to Project Children, I have had the unique privilege of interning at Employment Horizons, a not for profit agency which specializes in rehabilitating people with physical and mental disabilities. Having never worked with people with disabilities before, I found the experience to be a real eye opener. I was placed in the production department, where employees carried out jobs for companies such as Cablevision, a large cable company in the USA; International Playthings, a toy company, and even Tiffany & Co., which I’m sure everyone has heard of!! My duties were to assist employees. I was working largely with members of the deaf community, which meant I had the opportunity of learning some sign language, which has inspired me to continue to learn when I return home. Overall I had a fantastic experience and I wish to extend a heartfelt thanks to Al De Benedictis and all at Project Children who helped make this a possibility.”


Mary Hassan

Queen’s University Belfast – Common & Civil Law with Spanish                           Interned at the Morris County Prosecutor’s Office, New Jersey

“My internship for the summer was at Morris County Prosecutor’s Office as a legal intern.  I was placed alongside another Project Children intern, Emer McCool.  We were welcomed into the prosecutor’s office from day one – we met Prosecutor Bianchi himself on the first day – something that many of the other American interns do not get to do themselves.  We were able to go to court every day, and see the similarities and differences between our two legal systems for ourselves.  We witnessed everything from murder trials and sexual assault cases to drug court and bail hearings.  In terms of work, we carried out legal research using American Westlaw, as well as finding specific cases for assistant prosecutors and writing legal briefs. 

We were allowed to sit in on meetings between the prosecutor and the assistant prosecutors, during which we were even asked our own opinions on certain cases we had been working on.  Perhaps the best part of the internship was the fieldtrips that we participated in on Fridays – we went to police academy for gun training, the K9 unit and the bomb squad, visited the Secret Service and had a talk from the state medical examiner to name only a few.  As a whole, the internship was incredibly interesting and enriching.  I learned a lot which I will be able to take with me into my second year of law at Queen’s.  I am very grateful to project children for making this possible.”

Meghan Deery


Queen’s University Belfast – Medicine                                                                Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey


“I have just finished my first year studying medicine at Queens University Belfast and working at my Project Children placement at Kids Camp in New Jersey was, without a shadow of a doubt, an extremely beneficial experience for me both in terms of being personally rewarding as well as being relevant to my degree.


The children who came to the camp were mainly from African-American origin and were from socially deprived inner city backgrounds. They loved coming to the camp and enjoyed being out in the open around plants, animals and greenery they wouldn’t normally get to see in the inner city. A striking moment for me was when one of the children in my group said ‘It’s nice to be able to do things we don’t normally get to do in Newark like sit under a tree’. This simple statement really put things into perspective for me and made me feel that working at the camp was helping to make a small yet significant difference in the lives of these children.


While at the camp, the children went through a health screening programme given by the nurse at the camp Jennifer Moye. Jen made contact with me before I arrived at the camp to ask if I would be interested in helping her with the health screening process. This was an invaluable experience for me as I was able to put the clinical skills I had learnt in first year into practice as well as getting to work with children in a medical setting, something I wouldn’t get to do at home until after I had graduated. Jen also showed me new skills I won’t learn to do until later in my career and I learnt a lot from her in terms of how to talk to and treat children in this kind of setting.


Working as a councillor at the camp and helping out with the health checks has been hugely beneficial to me and has provided me with experiences and memories that will stay with me for a long time after this summer!”



Michael Griffin


University of Ulster – Media Studies & Production                                                 Interned at Kids Camp, New Jersey


“This summer has been beyond unbelievable in my personal experience. My job was involved in the kids camp working as a lifeguard at the facilities swimming pool. I worked with some amazing people. I knew from the moment I had landed in America that it would be a fantastic time and a time I’ll always remember and cherish for times to come.


For my first time abroad it was great. Getting on that plane was exciting. The scenery was completely different from back home. In kid’s camp it was just trees and wild animals. It was also a culture shock as well. I came over with the impression that all American’s are angry and rude being told several ghost stories, but from what I saw it was the complete opposite. The other campers I met and the directors and people I worked for were beyond kind. They were polite beyond what you could imagine.


This internship is going to be one I’ll always remember because since I have came over to the USA I will always want to come back to either visit or to definitely work. It is the capitol of the media industry and exactly what I want to progress my career in. In saying that now my doors are open with working with children. It has opened my eyes that I can potentially do anything in my life. This experience has made me more of an independent person and I thank Project Children personally for giving me this opportunity in life for opening my eyes to the world outside Ireland.”



Noel Donnelly


Omagh College – Construction Engineering                                                      Interned at Neligan Construction, Florida


“I have spent my time in Jacksonville, Florida during my internship. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here, I feel it has been a great experience too take part in and would strongly recommend it to any other student, as I have not only learned a lot more about construction, but also the American culture and lifestyle, which I different to back home in Ireland. I have had a great time with my host family’s here in Jacksonville as they have been very caring and helpful towards me. I have taken part in many fun activities such as a water park, mini golf. I have also gone to watch the Jacksonville Sharks play a football game. The area we have been staying is in a very nice location, close by the ocean, and the weather conditions are good. My placement was very manual and had been mainly labouring onsite, this included laying pavers, preparing ground conditions and painting.



Paul McNamee


Omagh College – Architectural Technology                                                        Interned at BHC Architects, New York City


“My internship for the summer of 2011 was an experience I will never forget. I began by taking part in the Mississippi “Habitat for Humanity” blitz build program where almost 20 interns and I helped build a house for the victims of the 2005 hurricane Katrina. This was an awesome experience giving that I was able to play a small part in the development of a new family home. Its something I am very proud of and a great learning experience. I was then placed with Joanne and Raymond Gallagher who were to be my “American family” for the summer in New Hyde Park, Long Island. They treated me like their own and their generosity to myself and another intern John was something I can never repay and am eternally grateful for. I got my placement with Manhattan based Architect firm BHC Architects. The firm specializes in developing commercial, government, education and residential institutions. My boss, Salvatore Coco started me on the Brooklyn BTOP project which was 8 Brooklyn branch public Carnegie libraries that needed to be updated with new laptop and computer furniture.


I began my project by surveying each branch library, taking note of all outlets and data jacks which were present, also taking hundreds of photos to enhance my knowledge of each branch. With this, I began developing new laptop furniture for each branch on AutoCAD, taking into consideration that some libraries needed to keep the authentic traditional furniture intact. New laptop carts/cabinets needed to be installed to house 15 new laptops so again I was able to assist in the development of these and design each laptop cart for each of the branch’s existing millwork. As well as the BTOP project, I also had the chance to work on various other projects such as the Edwards Residence project where again I assisted on the design and development of this apartment floor by using CAD and elevation, section and floor plans.


I also had the opportunity to sit-in at executive meetings, namely J S McHugh presentation of “Furnishing education, healthcare and recreation”. This was an insight into how architect firms get their products, in this case library furniture equipment and design construction techniques. I can honestly say that my time here with the project children internship in the States has broadened my horizons immensely, it has greatly helped in my development as a young Architect student and I would definitely recommend it to any student who wishes to develop themselves further in their particular field of study.”



Sandra Cuffe


University of Ulster – Design & Communications                                                Interned at Group Dynamix, Texas


“The Project Children Internship Programme is a once in a lifetime opportunity which opens your eyes, and doors of opportunity for the future. I interned at Dallas Directories an event management company who in association with the Southwest Celtic Music Association (SCMA), plan and co-ordinate various festivals throughout North Texas. Such events which I had the chance to work on was Dallas Kids Read and The Taste of Dallas, it is a huge event held at Fair Park in Dallas, over 100,000 people attended the festival. It was a great success and I had the best time working there.


I gained invaluable work experience and met a lot of wonderful people. I also had the opportunity to work for another company called Group Dynamix. Group Dynamix produces extraordinarily fun events for youth, corporations and organisations at the largest indoor team building centre in the U.S. There I had the chance to do some design work for them, which was excellent. There has also been talk of me continuing working for them as a freelance designer from home which I am absolutely delighted with. To be coming out of this experience with a client is more than I ever hoped for and I look forward to working with them in the future.”



Sarah McNeill


Queen’s University Belfast – Psychology                                                            Interned at The Aisling Irish Immigration Community Center


“Upon arrival in America I was slightly nervous and unsure as to what would lie ahead. For 20 of the interns our first week entailed building a house in Mississippi with the organisation Habitat for Humanity. After this rewarding and unforgettable week I made my way to New York.  While in New York I stayed in the Bronx and interned at the Aisling Irish Community Centre. As a psychology student at Queen’s   this internship gave me the opportunity to work with a diverse range of people of different ages. While in the centre I worked alongside their staff to help to organise their annual Dinner Dance. I participated in a lot of secretarial work and got the chance to meet and talk to people from many different walks of life.


The Aisling centre provides a lot of services to the community in Woodlawn.  Some of these services include counselling and assistance for those who may have issues in life. It was interesting to be able to meet some of these people and good to see how much the centre had done for them. These issues are all relevant to my studies and I feel I have got the chance to see some of the topics I have been learning about put into action.  While working at the centre I had the opportunity to work at a Kid’s camp. I worked alongside a Teacher  from Ireland who ensured that we both made the camp as fun as possible for all who attended. The children ranged from age 4 to 10 and I think I had as much fun as they did.


The internship gave me the chance to meet and talk to the Senior Group who attended the centre, they were all very welcoming and made me feel at home straight away. The group received a talk once a week about different topics, involving issues of keeping safe and maximising their memory. These were all very interesting and beneficial for the group.  As part of psychology I have a keen interest in individuals who come from disadvantaged backgrounds and face difficulties in life. I was fortunate to have had the opportunity to volunteer with the ‘Irish Volunteers for the Homeless’ programme run in the Aisling centre. This involved travelling into Manhattan and providing food to those who needed it most.  The experience was amazing and one I will never forget. Project Children has given me an experience and opportunity that I will never forget. For that I am very grateful.”



Sarah O’Reilly


University of Ulster – Social Work                                                                      Interned at Broome Day Services, Binghamton, New York


“For my internship with Project Children I am working in Broome Day Services which is an organization that provides a day programme for individuals with physical and mental disabilities in Binghamton, New York. This internship has given me the opportunity to apply the theory and skills which I have acquired through my degree course in social work. I have studied a number of areas in the field of disability but until now, I have never had the opportunity to apply such knowledge. I have been given the opportunity to come into contact with a wide range of varied individuals who suffer with severe challenges in their lives due to their disabilities.


This has been a heart warming experience which has really enlightened and inspired me. Moreover, it has provided me with an invaluable experience which will provide me with the skills necessary to interact and communicate with individuals who suffer with developmental disabilities, with whom I will inevitably come into contact within my future career. This internship proved to provide me with an insight into the world of developmental disabilities whilst being a fun, enjoyable and rewarding experience which I thoroughly enjoyed.”



Sinead Lavin


NUI Maynooth – English & Geography                                                              Interned at The Cardinal Shehan Center

“It has been an absolutely fantastic experience to return to America with Project Children.  My placement was in the Cardinal Shehan Center in Bridgeport, Connecticut; where I was working as a camp councilor.  I am currently a student in NUI Maynooth, where I am studying to be a secondary school teacher.  I feel that this internship has been of considerable benefit towards my future.  As a councilor I was looking after a group of ten year old girls, who took part in a variety of activities such as dancing, swimming, games and art among many others.  I thought the camp was a great benefit to the kids as many of them are from low income families and rough neighborhoods.  It was great to work with the kids and to take them on field trips.  

I have also had the experience of being part of the American culture, a world apart from home in Ireland.  Laura and I visited New York City with our host family, where we got some amazing views of the city from South Street Seaport.  We have also been to Port Jefferson and Block Island which were very exciting.  We have also been to Saratoga and the Catskills mountains where we went camping.  I have also experienced many different food cultures such as Hibachi Japanese, Brazilian, Jamaican, Puertio-Rican, American diner food and sushi.  I would like to thank my host family Helen, Kieran and Clodagh for their kindness and gratitude.” 


Sinead McCullagh

Omagh College – Health Studies                                                                     

Interned at USG International


“This summer I travelled with the Project Children Internship programme. I was given a marketing placement with Unateresa Gormley in Greenwood Lake. Although my course was more to do with health studies, I feel that I have gained many  skills, such as group work, leadership and communication, which can be transferred into the working environment. This internship will benefit me in future as I took from most meetings the quote: 'Keep trying and if you fail get back up and try again'. Throughout this placement with Unateresa, she took us with her to several business meetings, such as a meeting with the CEO of XSP in the Trump building. We also had the opportunity to successfully organise our own event. This event was in preparation for the sending off of the Big Apple Rose and her escort who will be competing in the finals in Tralee in August.


It was a great experience to work with Unateresa, who is the founder of the Big Apple Feis and the Big Apple Rose of Tralee. We got so many opportunities to excel ourselves and made contacts with lots of people who would like to keep in contact in the future. One of which was Noel Kilkenny, Consul General of Ireland, 2011 and his wife Honora, who kindly invited us to their home, the Irish consulate residence, where they were honouring Christine Quinn, New York City council woman, who gave us citations for the work that we had done throughout the summer.


In our spare time, We also tried to do some volunteering. I went along with the Aisling Centre to Penn Station to feed the homeless. This was an eye-opener for me and made me appreciate the lifestyle that I have. Overall, this has been the best summer yet. Project Children has given me the opportunity to meet so many new people and new friends that I hope to have for life as well as guiding me this summer to get as much out of my internship as possible to aide me in my future studies.”                  


Yvonne Garrahan


University of Limerick – Business Studies                                                         Interned at USG International


“My internship for the past 8 weeks has been with USG International, under Unateresa Gormley. The internship consisted of Marketing and PR. As my course of study in college is in the business field, I found this internship to be hugely enjoyable and beneficial. Looking back on the last 8 week, I have learned and experienced so much, not only to apply to my world of study but also in my own personal life. This experience has been amazing and one I am sure to never forget.


As part of my internship we were assigned specific tasks, this allowed us to work independently as well as working in a group which is vital in any business or in that matter in any work environment. Our main task for our internship was to organise an event for the Rose of Tralee reunion. This event consisted of a lot of networking and marketing which we found challenging yet enjoyable. Through out our internship we have met with many successful and influential people, these meetings have made us more determined to work hard and be as successful as we possible can. I have thoroughly enjoyed my internship here with USG International and the experience I have gained will stand to me in every walk of life. I am so grateful to everyone at project children for giving me this amazing opportunity; it’s an experience I will never forget.”