Merit Medical 

In 2018, the Youth Academy received a gift of €250,000 from Merit Medical  over a six year period.  Merit Medical is a leading multi-national medical device company with significant operations in Galway, employing close to 1,000 people.

Mary Dempsey, Senior Lecturer and co-founder of the Youth Academy said “A guiding principle of University of Galway’s Youth Academy programme is to offer 25% of places on a full scholarship basis and provide children and inter-generational families with access to the university campus, its resources and knowledge, and encourage a sense of belonging. Although the programme has supported hundreds of scholarships since 2012, the very generous gift from Merit Medical will create early educational intervention scaffolds and higher educational pathways for many more deserving children over the next six years. I am very grateful to Mark Butler and his team for supporting University of Galway’s Youth Academy programme in the provision of equality of opportunity for all children. This unique partnership will enable the University of Galway Youth Academy programme to continue to develop, impact positively on children and combat disadvantage.”

Mark Butler, Executive Vice President, European Operations, R&D & Strategy, Merit Medical said “As a worldwide leader in the development, manufacture and distribution of medical devices, Merit Medical are proud to partner with University of Galway’s Youth Academy programme. At Merit Medical we believe in children, their fantastic view of the world, their talent, their creativity and passion for innovation. It is important to capture this creativity from a young age, to ignite imagination and power curiosity. Through the academy the interest and enthusiasm for STEM subjects and related areas are increased, building the next generation of Scientists, Engineers and Mathematicians.

The Merit Story started with a single idea, build a stronger, safer disposable syringe, from that single idea the next great healthcare company was born. Today Merit holds over 800 patents and pending applications representing thousands of inventions. So who knows what the future will bring for children graduating from this Youth Academy programme. We are hopeful it will have given participants a broader perspective on all the fantastic opportunities awaiting them in the world of STEM. We encourage them to work harder at school and believe that most things are possible, and you are never too young to think BIG!”

Photo taken at Merit launch

‌Boston College

In July 2019, a group of graduates of the very first class of the Youth Academy, were invited to Boston College in Massachusetts, USA, to take part in a week long leadership programme aimed at high school students. Now aged 16-18 years, the University of Galway Youth Academy graduates were invited to apply for a place on Boston College’s Ever to Excel high school Jesuit leadership programme and 10 students were offered a full scholarship place including flights, accommodation and fees.  Boston College, a Jesuit liberal arts university, brought together 183 high school students from Japan, Jamaica, Venezuela, Ireland and all across the US to experience a week long programme of mentorship, workshops, activities, keynote speakers and opportunities to explore Boston.

“Our Youth Academy graduates were presented with a unique experience with an emphasis on ‘concern for their community’ which shaped their perspective as they develop their leadership skills.  The graduates had ample access to Boston College’s President, Vice Presidents, Directors and mentors during the week, who provided leadership and guidance through lived experiences and workshops. The Youth Academy programme enables University of Galway to strengthen its own links to our communities.” (Mary Dempsey, co-founder of Youth Academy and  Vice Dean, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, College of Engineering and Informatics).