Bartek Karpinski

from Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan is a sixth year student at Castleblayney College. His personal experience of immigration in Ireland led him to work within his own community to change the approach of people towards non-nationals arriving and living in the country.

Arriving in Ireland from Poland with his family 10 years ago and with limited knowledge and little English proficiency, Bartek bravely committed to after-school activities and the local GAA club in order to improve his English, make friends and settle in with his new community. He believes he can lead by example for younger generations who may be struggling in similar situations and ‘being different’.

Bartek takes part in a number of volunteering activities, most notably with the Castleblayney Enterprise Centre for whom he has actively participated in the organisation and implementation of local festivals and events. He has also volunteered with the Irish Farmers Association’s Mental Health Walk, the Local Community Parkrun which takes place every Saturday in his town in addition to volunteering work for his local parish church.

“Bartek is obliging, helpful and selfless. All of his successes and achievements are hallmarked by these traits of character,” said School principal Gerard Hand. “When he leaves school at the end of this academic year our school, our students, our staff and the wider community will be much the better for having known him and his myriad of good words for other people.”