Joe Smylie arrived two weeks ago in Boston as a participant with the Springboard Wider Horizons program. The IIIC partners with Springboard Opportunities (Belfast NI) and we are delighted to be hosting the group of 16 young men and women from the north and south of Ireland. Joe is spending 7 weeks in Boston training at Casserly House in Roslindale with Sister Nancy Braceland, and shares a reflection about his experience over the last few weeks:
“Having never taught before and with only a fleeting interest in doing so, being selected for a Wider Horizons Program based in Boston, on which I would be teaching a wide range of ages, nationalities and abilities was, at first, a daunting prospect.
In the past I have had various plans and dreams for a career to choose, some of them feasible, others not. Having a father who taught for thirty-five years has inevitably, on occasion, led me to ponder if teaching was the path I should follow, but I have never found a definite answer.
The Wider Horizons program is a scheme set up for young adults from across both the North and the South borders of Ireland, but more poignantly across the religious divide. It seeks to help young people with poor prospects or little direction in life find the path that’s right for their lives.
On first arriving at Casserly House, I found myself filled with both excitement and nervousness. I had no real knowledge of Sister Nancy or the work that was carried out here, and no real idea as to whether or not I would succeed. After just a short time, however, what immediately became apparent was the dedication and spirit that existed between the walls of a small house in Boston. I hope to take from my time here in Boston and at Casserly House new skills, personal learning, and experiences that, when I return home, will help transform my life and my community.”
Keep up the great work Joe, and a big thank you to Sister Nancy and all at Casserly House.