MCHS Junior Participates in Overseas Project Designed to Bring People Together


Jaylah Abbott, Staff Reporter

MCHS junior Sean Mannix is participating in the Ulster Project, an organization that has been working with teenagers in Northern Ireland and the United States to educate them and develop them as leaders to effect change in their communities. The Ulster Project focuses on teenagers in Ireland, mainly due to the historical conflict between the region’s two most practiced religions: Catholicism and Protestantism. 

“What the Ulster Project does is, is it brings those Irish teens from both religions over to America and pairs them with an American host to teach them about peacekeeping skills, leadership skills, and teamwork skills,”  Mannix said.

The project shows them how to be more open and diverse and see people without prejudice. To participate in this project, a participating teen would have to be an accepting person and open to trying new things. According to The Ulster Project website, “accompanied by adult counselors, the Northern Irish participants range in age from fourteen to sixteen years, having been interviewed, assessed and ultimately selected for their leadership potential. The process can be very competitive with some centres (sic) receiving more than five or six times the number of applications for the places available.”

“We talk about things such as classism, racism, and sectarianism,” Mannix said. 

Jaylah Abbott
MCHS junior Sean Mannix is participating in The Ulster Project

The project takes place during the months of June and July and was formed in Madison in 1998 by Rick Draper of Christ Episcopal Church and Randy Crutchfield of First Baptist Chruch. 

Mannix stated, “We meet up and do different activities like service-oriented activities and other fun activities whether it be indoors or outdoors.” 

“Before The Ulster Project, I was a shy closed off person, mainly stayed to myself, didn’t have a lot of friends, I wasn’t very open, but after my first year in 2017, I started to open up more and made some friends. Progressively, as I continued participating, I grew as a person socially. I’m much more open to accepting people. The Ulster Project taught me to look at a person without prejudice and see them for who they are,” Mannix said.

Mannix has taken time over the summer for the past three years to participate in this project and continues to enjoy it. He opens up to people more and more every year.

“The Ulster Project has a way of opening people up and making your social skills evolve,” stated Mannix. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the Ulster Project, you can learn more here.


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