Love the children … and make a great effort to improve their education
and raise it to as high a degree as possible. Blessed Anne-Marie Javouhey

Visit to American Ambassador

02-February-24
Visit to American Ambassador

5th Year Politics and Society students, 5th year History students and The Positive Action Leaders were honoured to be invited for a visit to the American Ambassador, Her Excellency, Claire Cronin at her Deerfield Residency in the nearby Phoenix Park.

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Her Excellency showed the students the residency as a part of her #Open Doors initiative. The students had an amazing opportunity to visit the walled garden and saw a tree planted from sampling from the World Trade Centre to commemorate those who lost their lives in the 9.11 attacks. They were also invited to the less formal red room where Her Excellency pointed to a framed copy of Friday Agreement that inspires and motivates her every day. In the hallway they passed by the plaque listing all the US Presidents' visits to Dublin in Ireland.

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Her Excellency, Claire Cronin explained to the students why she admires Frederick Douglass. He was an American social reformer, abolitionist, orator, writer, and statesman and became the most important leader of the movement for African-American civil rights in the 19th century. He influenced her work as a legislator and she used his famous quote “It’s easier to build strong children than to repair broken men” on many occasions. The students were invited to visit the two formal rooms before gathering for the Question and Answer session in the Ballroom.

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Our 5th Year History and Politics and Society students prepared an array of questions to find out about the Ambassador's daily work and highlights, her education and career as well as her connections to Ireland. Her Excellency, Claire Cronin, admitted that becoming an Ambassador is a long process that involves a thorough vetting and that she was delighted to be appointed by President Joe Biden to represent him and the State in Ireland. Her main objective is to support American citizens and businesses and to promote the country. The students were amazed and inspired to hear of her teenage years when she worked as a candy girl at the cinema, sold sodas in the drug store and got up at 4:30am on a Saturday to get to the bakery. At that stage she did not have plans for her career yet, and only decided on the law school when she was twenty. Her Excellency stressed how important it is to work hard and do your very best in every single job big or small. She also advised the girls to always put their best foot forward and never be afraid to ask (as you have nothing to loose).

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After, the Q and A session our PALS (Positive Actions Leaders) gave a presentation on their work for the school community. The committee began in 2013, originally as a part of Ambassador programme training founded to fulfil the late Princess Diana’s legacy and show that young people can make a difference. In 2023 the Positive Action Leaders were formed and their goal is to make the school community a positive and welcoming environment for everybody. Her Excellency heard of the examples of work that PALS do from Big Sister Buddy Program, through Friendship Wall and Compliment Day to lunchtime activities and fundraising. The students noted how privileged they feel to have been chosen as PALS and how proud they are that their work reflects the dictum of our foundress, Blessed Anne Marie Javouhey, “to do a little good”. They finished by thanking Her Excellency for the invitation and for the warm welcome.

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A huge gratitude to Ms Mary Delaney who organized and coordinated the visit. It was a memorable and inspiring event for everyone.

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Mount Sackville Secondary School,
Sisters of St. Joseph of Cluny,
Chapelizod,
Dublin 20,
D20 WP68

01 821 3317
01 821 4061


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