The Shona Project is operated by a small army of women and men. Founded by Tammy Darcy in 2016, it has grown over time and our team now consists of an accomplished board, an amazing group of youth ambassadors, and a panel of accomplished and experienced people, who provide all kinds of support from advice, to mentoring to cups of tea and biscuits.
The year Tammy turned 14 everything changed. Her parents went through a messy separation, and her older sister, Shona was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury that rendered her physically and mentally disabled, and left her requiring full time nursing care. It was also the year she was bullied so badly in school that she spent break times in a toilet cubicle and climbing over the back wall to go home.
As a result of all these experiences, Tammy went from an A student to a fail student, her self-esteem and self-confidence were destroyed and she gave up on herself for many years, made some poor choices and some even bigger mistakes.
At 25, Tammy went to college at night, and achieved an honours degree in Human Resources Management followed by an MA in Business Management in Social Enterprise. She is currently studying an MA in Education.
Tammy feels that had she had the right support, information, and guidance, she may have been better equipped to overcome the challenges she encountered as a teen. She now sees that her experience is not unusual, and that many girls find their teenage years to be negative, distressing, and traumatic. It is during these years that the internal barriers which prevent young women from achieving their potential are often formed.
Tammy is passionate about eradicating bullying and rivalry amongst girls and promoting the fact that our differences are what make us special and our challenges are what teach us to be understanding, resilient and determined.
Tammy can recite the theme song to the Fresh Prince of Bel Air on demand, which is her proudest accomplishment in life. She is wanted in 13 countries by the Grammar Police, so if anyone asks, you didn’t see her.
Niamh has many years experience working with young people as a facilitator and mentor. As a teenager she overcame a serious illness which meant that she had to relearn how to be a fully formed person. That person has a love of life, and a passion for wellness, happiness and ensuring that everyone finds the happiness they deserve.
Claire is an Irish scientist who works in research in the UK. Claire is passionate about science and an advocate for girls in STEM. She is almost as obsessed with GIF’s as she is science, but ‘Head of Gif’s’ isn’t a thing (yet) so she’s sticking with the science bits.
Anna holds a Masters in Sexuality Studies and is our go-to woman for all questions in relations to sexual health, sexuality, gender and relationship issues. She has no filter so warn your Granny if she ever comes round.
Shona has delivered The Shona Project workshops to young girls and teenagers in Africa, and is now working with partner organisations to train volunteers to deliver our message in other countries. Also, her name is Shona so she gets to have her own name on her t-shirt, whats not to love about that?
Tracey has many years’ experience in marketing for national organisations. Yes, that is her real name and not one she made up in case she gets discovered singing on a bus and becomes a star. Should you need to locate Tracey on the weekend, try the local TK Maxx, it’s a problem, we’re working on it.
Dave is not a girl per se, but he does a mean pirouette and is occasionally known to wear a kimono around the office so we let him hang around. He and his team designed & built this here awesome website, so look him up at www.vitaminstudio.ie
Freya may be young, but she is fiercely passionate about girls following their dreams and being whoever, they want to be. She can often be found smiling sweetly at boys on the soccer pitch before flattening them. Has watched every single slime video on youtube.
Emma unexpectedly found herself with a public platform after sharing her experience of Domestic Violence in 2015. Now an accomplished public speaker and advocate, Emma wants to encourage girls to value and care for themselves, and to speak out against injustice and victim blaming.
The Shona Project is for girls, by girls and about girls. In order to make sure we always have the best interests of our girls at heart, we established our Youth Council, a group of young Irish women from all over Ireland, and with a range of different backgrounds and interests.
Our youth council help us make all our decisions, tell us when we’re doing things right and break it to us gently when we’re missing something special. They are our ambassadors and our eyes and ears on the ground. If you would like to apply to join this group of brilliant young ladies, get in touch. The more the merrier.
Lets meet the crew here.
Cyril was one of the founders of Aisieri addiction service and sits on the current Board of Trustees. Cyril retired recently from a long career in psychiatric nursing, addiction services and care of the elderly.
Orla has 25 years experience as a business leader, most recently as Chief Human Resources Director at Eir. On leaving Eir, Orla founded The Riasc Partnership – which works with a range of Entrepreneurial Companies and Not for Profit organisations on business, organisation strategy. Orla is also a well known advocate for the role of Women in Business and is a member of the Steering Committee of 30% Club Ireland. A Psychology and Economics Graduate from UCC, she recently completed a Diploma in Executive Coaching at IMI.
Kathryn has years of experience as a Chartered Management Accountant and the co-founder and director of Dairy Direct.
Shane is the Principal of The Presentation Secondary School in Kilkenny, a girls school with 700 students. Shane has a keen focus on wellbeing and positive mental health, aswell as teaching practical life skills.
Katherine is a secondary school teacher with many years experience in Education. She currently works as TY Co-ordinator in a large girls school in the South East.
Nicola has many years experience teaching and mentoring in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship and enterprise. Nicola has also many years experience in non-profit governance, strategy and social enterprise.
Marion is trained in psychology, counselling and psychotherapy, mediation, and meditation, who is dedicated to aiding individuals to increase their emotional well-being, self-care, life skills and strategies.
Annie is an experienced teacher, and has developed strategies for dealing with bullying in the classroom. Annie has extensive knowledge of Child Protection and Welfare. A keen sportswoman and a member of the Waterford camogie panel, Annie is advocate of the benefits of physical activity and sports for young women.
Tracey Diamond is an experienced marketer and is currently working as Central Brand and Marketing Manager at RTÉ. She holds a Digital Marketing Masters from UCD Smurfit and has worked on many national award-winning campaigns.