By John Madden
Some may remember young Martin Ward as being nominated for in the education category for the Traveller Pride awards last year. Martin, from Tullamore is a voice advocating for education across the community. Martin attained a very strong Junior Certificate in 2016, a very impressive 6 B’s and 3 C’s. This achievement has set the bar for him for the upcoming Leaving Cert that he will complete in 2018. We caught up with Martin to ask him what he did to do such a successful Junior Cert, what he would advise to other teens that are facing the same daunting exams, and what he aspires to do with the rewards of a thorough education.
Did you find the Junior Certificate to be a challenge?
It both easy and difficult. It took a lot of work. A few years ago, I was kind of half in/half out when it came to my education. I used to slack off, but in the last few years when I saw the value of it, I really started getting into it. So, I got stuck in after that and concentrated on the subjects I was a bit weaker at, like Irish. I had loads of support from my family, and as well as all that, I wanted to do well myself.
What advice would you give to anybody facing their Junior Certificate?
Keep the head down, and work hard. It’s always good to pay extra attention to the subjects that you struggle with. I do well in Maths and those kinds of subjects, but I have to work harder with others.
If the Leaving Cert goes as well as the Junior Cert, then, what’s next for Martin Ward?
I’m considering a few options in terms of college, I want to attend one that’s still close to home. I’ve been chatting to the teachers for career guidance in the school and they’ve been giving me a few ideas. I do physics, chemistry, construction studies and engineering, but I also like the sports side of things. I’m keeping my options open, I suppose.
Martin also spoke highly of Youthwork Ireland in Tullamore. He himself has been involved with the project since he was old enough to attend. He said, “The staff here are great and so supportive. They are really helpful and do a great service by providing us with a place to mix and meet new people. It’s great to have something to do in the evenings.
Michael, who is the eldest of 4 will be sitting the exams next year but mentioned that his sister will be sitting her Junior Certificate in the summer. We wish them both the very best of luck with their studies.