FOUR students from North Presentation Secondary School in Farranree are set to travel to Switzerland next week to represent Ireland at the European YouthStart Entrepreneurship Awards with their company ‘Know Your Buttons’ - a sexual health programme for primary schools to help teach consent.
Fifth year students Jade Guiney, Shanice Pepper, Sommer Nolan and Shanice Browne have already received national recognition for their company, winning the Network For Teaching Entrepreneurship National Award for Social Enterprise in 2021, and now hope to wow the judges at the European awards.
Know Your Buttons is a company which created a new and improved sexual health resource for primary school-age children, to teach consent using a Gingerbread Kid theme. The resource helps younger children differentiate between a good and a bad touch, and explains the idea of consent using simple language that they will understand.
Know Your Buttons will also provide other resources such as a website, social media and helplines, as well as advice to children about telling a trusted adult they feel safe with.
Jade, Shanice, Sommer and Shanice have been developing their idea whilst studying for their Leaving Certificate exams with the support of their teacher, Stacey Higgins. They have attended workshops with Muire O’Farrell, an outreach worker with the Sexual Health Centre, as well as receiving coaching from ActionCOACH Ireland, one of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) programme's major sponsors and supporters.
The four students will depart Cork on Thursday to travel with their parents and the Cork NFTE programme officer, Angela O’Connell, to Olten in Switzerland.
The YouthStart European Entrepreneurship Awards will run from June 2 to June 4.
The 'Youth Start European Entrepreneurship Award' is awarded in the categories '(Social) Business Idea' and 'Real Market' and 'We Grow Together'.