Stephen Foley is a second year Business Information Systems student at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and has been active in youth leadership from a young age. He applied to join our Student Trainer Pool after being inspired by attending NStEP training as a first year class rep!
Tell us more about yourself Stephen!
I’m from Whitechurch in County Cork and I went to school in Scoil Mhuire Glan Smal in Blarney. I have always been heavily involved with my local Foróige club and with them I was awarded certification in Youth Leadership and Community Action from the National University of Ireland Galway, through Foróige’s leadership for life program. This taught me many skills that have been vital to me in my different roles since. After I graduate college, I would love to get a job within the technology sector, however I would also love to continue my involvement in Unions later on in life.
You’ve plenty of experience representing students?
Yes! I have a large amount of experience in roles representing students and my classmates. In second level I was a class representative, from which I got elected on to the National Council of Schools representing the Munster region as part of the Irish Second-Level Students Union (ISSU). I loved my experience working with the ISSU. I believe it’s a key reason I have continued to be so involved in my own students’ union in CIT and why I pursued a role in NStEP after receiving training last year.
I have since expanded on my experience in third-level education, becoming a class representative. I have truly loved my experience thus far, and hope to continue my role as a class rep for the remainder of my undergraduate degree.
Why did you want to get involved in student engagement and training?
I want to be able to expand my work representing students in any way I can. I have found this to be a passion of mine that I continuously want to pursue and build upon. I believe that students should play a big part within our education system. I believe the student voice should be heard and organisations such as NStEP help to promote that, along with creating a more engaging environment for students to learn and develop within. Student engagement is essential for the continued development of Higher Education as it empowers students to ensure there voices are heard and so they can make meaningful change to the development of their own education.
Apart from all your work in student representation and youth leadership, you’re pretty busy?
I am an avid gamer and have custom built my own PC. I am also heavily involved in a number of society’s in CIT, such as anime, guild gaming, and Business and Enterprise to name a few. I am also a member of CIT Canoe club and I have been elected treasurer for this year.