Donegal post-primary pupils get a career jumpstart at ATU on International Mentoring Day

Thursday, January 25, 2024 Press Office
Press Releases

To mark International Mentoring Day on 17 January 2024, ATU hosted their Mentoring for Access event with Post Primary schools senior cycle pupils and their teachers from across Donegal.

The Mentoring for Access event, coincided with schools’ engagement week and comprised three sessions centred around mentoring for Access to higher education with ATU president, Dr Orla Flynn providing the welcome address.

Dr Celia Keenaghan- Education Mentoring Coordinator, WNW Connect ATU and University of Galway.

"Mentoring has benefits for mentors and mentees that include personal development, skills development and a positive impact on emotional well-being and perceptions of the support available. It has also been demonstrated to lead to improvements in access to and participation in higher education, the level of education attained, success in the labour-market and improved socio-economic status over time."

Speakers on the day which included staff from ATU and industry partners shared their career journey with young people by delivering ‘Lightening talks’, 5-minute personal stories from their education path to current career.  

ATU speakers including Dr Michele Glacken, Fiona Kelly, Roisin McCormack, Steven O’Donnell and Dr Celia Keenaghan were joined by industry partners Aisling McDevitt, PGIM Ireland and Orla Duddy, FinTrU.

The final session of the ATU Mentoring for Access event provided an opportunity for post-primary pupils from schools across Donegal to find out about life in higher education from ATU staff and students and representatives from industry which included, FinTrU, PGIM Ireland (Real Estate) and Accountant Online, who answered queries about career possibilities.

ATU has been in receipt of funding through HEA PATH 3 that has enabled several mentoring projects to be set up across the Donegal, Sligo, Galway and Mayo campuses and also in University of Galway. West Northwest Connect- Creating Pathways to Higher Education is a joint higher education cluster Access project between Atlantic Technological University and University of Galway.

Activities to date include:

· Community-Based Mentoring (Cranmore Sligo, Ballybane Galway)

· School-Based Mentoring (ATU Donegal, ATU Galway and University of Galway)

· College-Based Mentoring

Rory McMorrow Student Services Manager (Access, Widening Participation and Sport) ATU

"ATU’s mentoring initiative, Mentoring for Access (Post-Primary Schools) offers training and support for mentors, mentees and school staff members who are involved in peer mentoring programmes in their schools. This initiative is open to all post-primary schools in Donegal and forms part of our Connect partnership project with University of Galway."

This project is funded by the Higher Education Authority’s Programme for Access to Higher Education Fund (PATH 3).

For further information contact: Strive Mentoring for Access Post-Primary Schools Donegal:

WNW Connect Mentoring Programmes:


Aidan Haughey 
ATU Communications Manager /
Bainisteoir Cumarsáide OTA
Ollscoil Teicneolaíochta an Atlantaigh (OTA), Éire
Atlantic Technological University (ATU), Ireland       
Tel: +353 86 086 6913