As a secondary school teacher and Principal for twenty one years, Sr. Antoinette has worked with thousands of students in the Dublin area. She witnessed their joy in school success, and their disappointments in school failure.
She recognised the critical need to support the individual needs and abilities of students whose vulnerabilities meant they often left the school system early. She identified the advantage of ‘time out’ from the system, time to receive special assistance in learning and especially counselling to develop the student’s confidence and sense of self.
Taking early retirement and with the support of her own Congregation, the Holy Faith Sisters, and of the De La Salle Brothers, Sr. Antoinette began St. John’s Education Centre. In the Centre, adolescent boys and girls can experience that special ‘time out’, with individual and group learning and counselling support, so that they can return to their schools with increased competence and confidence.
The centre provides on-going support and follow up sessions with schools and parents. Forty five schools in the Dublin area have, to date, referred students to St. John’s for this programme.
St. John’s Centre was created from a vision that recognises the unique potential of each young person, providing extra time and assistance where needed for them to recognise their own potential, and take responsibility for it.
Sr. Antoinette Keelan