Prestigious Washington Ireland Program selects emerging leaders for rigorous program of public service and leadership development
WIT student Henry James Fitzgerald has been selected to join this year’s class of the prestigious Washington Ireland Program (WIP). For more than two decades, WIP has brought together emerging leaders from diverse backgrounds for a transformative program of public service and leadership development. Henry James, a second year student of Social Science at WIT was one of 31 students selected from 16 different universities and institutions across Ireland and Northern Ireland.
A past pupil of Presentation Secondary School, Clonmel, Co Tipperary Henry James received a place on the programme through an application process and a competitive round of interviews.
“I look forward to learning from the experience offered by the Washington Ireland Program and to apply what I’ve been taught in my local community,” he says.
His dreams for the future include: Creating access to well-rounded education by integrating creativity in a learning process. As well as teaching young people about the diverse society they exist in to help form a tolerant, empathetic and inclusive generation of people.
Course leader Michael Tobin had this to say: "I am delighted that Henry has successfully won a place on the Washington Ireland Program, it is a fantastic achievement. Henry is a great student, highly motivated and has tremendous enthusiasm. They will be a great representative of WIT on the program."
WIP supports students to develop their full potential through two core principles - leadership and service. Each student will undertake prestigious work placement at some of the most illustrious and influential levels of professional life in Washington DC and New York, including congressional offices, international corporations, law firms and media organisations. Students are hosted by American host families who generously open their homes and allow participants to experience an authentic slice of American life.
The class will also have the opportunity to learn from each other and from leaders at the highest levels of American political, business and cultural life. WIP participants complete a challenging leadership curriculum designed to equip them with the skills and knowledge required to meaningfully contribute to society. The skills it cultivates —respect, dedication, perseverance, confidence, teamwork, critical thinking, among many others —benefit participants well beyond their time on the program.
“We’re thrilled to welcome Henry to this year’s Washington Ireland Program class. WIP seeks students who demonstrate leadership potential and have a substantial track record of service. Henry exceeds these requirements and I’m sure he will take full advantage of the busy program of training and development WIP provides,” said Bryan Patten, Executive Director of the Washington Ireland Program.
When Henry has successfully completed the program, he will join WIP’s distinguished alumni. This diverse, all island network share a commitment to shaping the future of Ireland and Northern Ireland. More than 600 alumni, including An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar TD, have graduated from the program and are now excelling in roles across the political, business, legal, entrepreneurial, advocacy and cultural sectors on the island. For many, their contribution to social and political progress on the island represents a continuation of what they learned on the program.