Drogheda’s Young Innovators are all female in 2021

On 30th April, The Mill Enterprise Hub held an online awards ceremony for the three finalists of the annual Drogheda Young Innovators competition.  Students from local schools watched the finalists’ videos which showcased how they completed some of the fifty challenges in this year’s competition, and also heard first-hand feedback on the most enjoyable and complex challenges to complete. The DYI 2021 competition benefitted from an increased prize fund of €1750.

The overall winners of the 2021 Drogheda Young Innovators Competition were Dorothy Ajayi (centre), Josephina Quinn (left) and Alba Murray Calavia who are in TY class in Drogheda Grammar School. Photo: Andy Spearman.

Dorothy Ajayi, Josephina Quinn, and Alba Murray Calavia from Transition year in Drogheda Grammar School received the overall DYI 2021 prize of €1000 for completing fifteen of the challenges that demonstrated innovation and ingenuity across business, social enterprise, arts, technology, education, and culture.

Co-Founder of the DYI  competition, Geoff Fitzpatrick of Fitz Scientific commented “This year’s prize pool was a massive €1750. It’s fantastic to see support from local and multinational companies, and the judges are always amazed at the quality, ambition, and creativity of local teenagers. Representatives from Amazon Web Services, State Street, Fitz Scientific, Coca Cola International Services, and East Coast Bakehouse joined the online session to complete the difficult judging process on 30th April and announce the winners.”

Isabelle Greene, a first year student at Drogheda Grammar School who received the ‘Best individual’ prize of €250 in the 2021 Drogheda Young Innovators Competition. Photo: Andy Spearman.

In 2014 The Mill Enterprise Hub and supporters launched a competition for nine secondary school students encouraging teenagers to think like innovators in the fields of business, social enterprise, and technology. The 2021 competition featured a new socially distanced format which involved individual or remote teamwork on over 50 challenges, covering themes such as Environment, Mental and Physical Wellbeing, Self-Development, Innovation, Business, Technology, and the Drogheda Community.

Breanndán Casey , Innovation & Enterprise Manager at The Mill Enterprise Hub commented “This is the seventh year of DYI, and the standard was just fantastic.  We changed the format to reflect covid restrictions and were amazed at the quality of entries. . Challenges were specifically designed to encourage creativity and innovation, as well as boost the skills needed in the current climate – online team meetings, remote work, task delegation and goal setting, time management, thinking outside the box, and creative presentation skills. It was interesting to see that all three finalists were female, and I think the boys will have to raise their standards if they wish to reclaim the trophy next year!”

The all-female 2001 finalists also included Katie McQuillan and Chloe Hall from TY class in Sacred Heart School who received the ‘Outstanding Team’ prize of €500, and Isabelle Greene from first year in Drogheda Grammar School who received the ‘Best individual’ prize of €250.

The winning DYI 2021 video:

Further details are on www.droghedayounginnovators.com .