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 wonderful men and women, 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.
Majella has many years experience in education and education policy. Having served as Deputy Chief Executive of the Irish National Council for Curriculum and Assessment in Dublin, Majella has considerable knowledge and expertise in the areas of education policy development and curriculum reform at national level.
Majella now works as an executive coach, in which she uses her many years experience as a school principal to make sure her clients always have their homework done.
Antoinette currently works as the Regulatory Lead at the Central Bank of Ireland, and has years experience in regulation, governance, banking and diversity and inclusion.
Despite the fact that Antoinette is obsessed with policies and procedures, she is also the best craic of all time.
Kathryn is a qualified accountant who runs a very successful dairy business in Co. Wexford. A member of the Institute of Chartered Management Accountants, Kathryn is responsible for all policies regarding finance and funding.
If you ever attend the National Ploughing Championships, Kathryn’s udder wipes are not to be missed!
Sarah has many years experience working with entrepreneurs, developing ideas, and making connections. Sarah is part of an amazing team who raise funds so we can offer most of our events and services for free.
One of Sarah’s biggest accomplishments is her extensive headband collection. Ask her to show you photos!
Steph works as a counsellor and has first-hand knowledge of the challenges that our teenage girls are facing. Steph loves hearing people’s stories; their journeys and how they came to be where they’re at. Her style of counselling is person-centered, integrative, and intuitive. You can check out her website here where she offers both in-person counselling but also online resources to help you manage if you are going through a bit of a rocky patch.
Steph is the best listener and has the kindest eyes you’ve ever seen x
Katherine is the beloved 4th Year Head at the Presentation Secondary School in Waterford. She is passionate about making sure every girl reached their potential and is an amazing role model to the students she works with.
Katherine is an avid runner and a pretty good soccer player too!
Marion provides support to the entire team, and is always super organised when it comes to our events and projects. She has a background in psychology, counselling/ psychotherapy, and meditation and is passionate about compassion and connection.
Marion was born in New York and lived in many, many places before she realised that Ireland really is the best 🙂
Mary has many years experience in Health and Safety, leadership and Governance. She was the very first National President of Network Ireland, an organisation which supports women in business.
Mary is also a pretty deadly drummer, she can get pretty loud!
Laura is a creative genius who currently works as a group director for Thinkhouse. Laura is a culture sponge and PR nerd who fell in love with The Shona Project when we pitched to her in her previous job in 2019. She helps us tell our story in a colourful and lovable way.
Sarah is currently studying Community Development while also working with women at the Waterford Womens Centre. She brings our young ambassadors together and makes sure that they are all as involved and empowered as possible.
Sarah is an identical twin so we can never be sure who really turns up to see us.
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.
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
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?
Ellen graduated from WIT with a Bachelor of Business degree with a specialisation in Marketing. She runs The Shona Project’s social media accounts and manages the website. She could give Dr.Dolittle a run for his money so, if you see her chatting away to animals, it’s totally normal!
Samantha is our podcast extraordinaire. She is full of passion and creativity so is it any wonder that our podcasts are amazing?
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.
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.
Meet the crew here.