“I have known Monica for many years, both in her capacity as a volunteer with the charity Childline and as School Liaison Officer for the ISPCC, where she worked tirelessly in schools around the country, giving motivational talks and promoting the ISPCC’s Anti Bullying initiatives. On several occasions Monica has spoken in the Oireachtas at charity events I have organised, and she has impressed her audience with her passion and dedication to the work she does with young people in schools and colleges around the country.
I have even had the pleasure of meeting with some of the students Monica has worked with, and they, without exception, had been positively impacted by her visits to their schools, to the extent that they had been encouraged to take part in Anti Bullying Projects, which in turn affected the other students in their schools positively.
I would consider Monica to be a positive ambassador for our children. She has worked for many years with young people, helping them develop self-worth and a strong sense of empathy towards others. Her work with students and parents is invaluable. I would highly recommend her to any school or parent group that is looking for an honest, engaging and very relatable speaker. I am sure Monica will have a positive, lasting impact on your audience.”
Ms. Van Tournhout is a former Irish Senator, was chief executive of the Children’s Rights Alliance and former Chief Commissioner of Irish Girl Guides, and was recently awarded an honorary fellowship of the Faculty of Paediatrics, the highest honour the faculty bestows.
““Thank you so much Monica. It was wonderful to sit in for your talk. Powerful words!” - Loreto Dalkey February ‘19
”An excellent talk, truly wonderful use of anecdote. Personally challenging and thought provoking. Messages the students have received many times over the years, but a new face and fresh presentation, and collating the ideas was great. They can’t get these messages often enough”. -
Loreto Dalkey February ‘19
“Excellent talk! Monica was very engaging and gave very usefule and practical examples which the students could relate to” - Cabra Community College
“We would like to offer a most sincere thank you to Monica for her talks in Scoil Mhuire, Clane . She worked tirelessly all day and spoke to almost 400 students over the day. The feedback from staff and students has been very positive and we would encourage her excellent work and reinforce the importance of what she does.” - Schoil Mhuire, Clane
“Cheap mé féin go raibh neart le fáil ón gcaint a bhí ag na daltaí ar maidin. Rinne an bhean aird a thabhairt ar roinnt de na rudaí is simplí ach is tabhachtaí a bhaineann leis tús nua sa mheánscoil ach go háirithe an bulaíocht. Labhair sí faoin tábhacht a bhaineann lena bheith ábalta labhairt le duine má tá deacrachtaí agat, a bheith tacúil dá chéile agus freagracht a ghlacadh má thagann tú ar chás nó eachtra bulaíochta. Bhí na dalta suaimhneach béasach agus í ag caint agus an chuid is mó acu sasta páirt a ghlacadh agus a cuid ceisteanna a fhreagairt.” - Colaiste Chilliain, Dublin.
“Monica gave us a rich and rewarding day when she visited St.Mary’s Holy Faith. She had been asked to talk to one or two groups of students, but was so intetesting that we asked her to allow more students to hear her. She was so flexible and the students were so impressed with her talk. Monica is extremely professional in how she does her job and also, at the same time, most approachable. We consider this an extremely important service.” - St. Mary’s Holy Faith
“The ‘Mix It Up’ exercise was amazing! I ended up with a girl in my class who I had always judged as a bit stuck up and not nice. I was amazed at how much in commom we had and she’s actually really nice!”
“It was a pleasure to welcome Monica to the school and we were delighted with the feedback from the students who all found the talk really enjoyable and engaging. Most importantly, from our point of view, they all seemed to get the core messages of the presentation. Monica spoke to our 1st and 2nd year students and her presentation was both engaging and thought-provoking. Through her inspired use of metaphors, photos and anecdotes, Monica initially captured the imagination of the students and was then able to challenge them to think about their own behaviour and how it impacts on others. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive and we hope to build on this session next term as part of our anti-bullying programme. We would highly recommend this talk for secondary school students and would be delighted to avail of the service for our incoming first years in September.” - Colaiste De Hide
“ We would like to thank Monica for speaking to the Student Council. We found it very helpful and we all enjoyed her talk. She gave us lots of ways to be safer on the internet and we found her personal stories very intriguing. We found ourselves reflecting on our use of social media and how we’d learned to avoid certain situations. One of our younger members suggested we make some posters and place them around the school, which was a great idea, and the fact that it came from a First Year shows the impact that Monica’s talk had on us. We hope that when she visits our school next, she will see how the Student Council has improved” - Student Council, Cabra Community College
“We have just invited Monica to come out to visit the school again. Her presentation last year was absolutely excellent. The best I think we’ve ever had.” - Trinity Comprehensive Ballymun
Email from a student:
“I just wanted to write an email to say thank you. You spoke with the transition year students in my school last week and I never got the chance to thank you the way I wanted to.
Being honest, we were dreading ‘another talk’. We have a lot of them and they can be quite boring and if I’m honest most of what we have heard in other talks goes in one ear and out the other. A lot of ‘talks’ we have make us feel even less understood than we already are. We get generic advice like go for a walk it’ll make you feel better, tell someone if you are anxious or sad, but this doesn’t help us, it’s just words.
Your talk was different in so many ways and you could hear a pin drop in the room (I haven’t witnessed that for years!) You are an amazing speaker and seem like a lovely person. Your love, passion and dedication to what you do was inspiring. Thank you for telling us what we really needed to hear. Bullying goes on all the time around us and I really hope, because of the talk you gave, people will realise how damaging it is and end it. I have talked to my classmates about this talk so I am not just thanking you on my behalf but on behalf of the whole class. Your talk inspired me in so many ways and restored my faith that most people are nice, they just don’t think.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you. - Becky
“Monica visited our school again this year and her talk was wonderful. We got so much positive feedback from the kids which led to a brilliant discussion this afternoon. It opened the door for some of the students to feel comfortable talking to me. You’re doing fantastic work and I know the students were really grateful for your talk today.” - Dunshaughlin C.C.
“Monica gave a wonderful presentation for some of our students yesterday. We asked them for some written feedback after the talk and it was 100% positive. She really made a difference to our students and had a great impact on their way of thinking. Monica and her presentation are still the talk of the staffroom. The work you are doing is fantastic and we have already seen a change in attitudes and we are really grateful for that.” - Clonaslee College
“Monica spoke with some of our students last week. The feedback from the students was very positive. We wish her all the very best with this important work she is doing.” - Colaiste Brid, Clondalkin
“Monica was very accommodating when she visited our school on Wednesday. Anyone we have spoken with so far has raved about the talks and her approach with the students.” - Killinarden C.S
“The students really enjoyed Monica’s presentation and both groups said it was ‘great’ and that they learned a lot from it as it got them thinking. Our students have said they would highly recommend the up coming year groups to have the same talk and we agree.” - Longford C.C.
“Monica’s talk went down very well with the girls. There was a lot of positive feedback, not only from the students but from the Parents also. The talk was so age appropriate and touched on issues that we teachers face every day. Every school in the country should hear this talk.” - Loreto Balbriggan
“I sat in on the talk Monica gave our junior groups and it was excellent and very informative. I was very impressed, as were the other teachers present. The start of the year is a great time to have this talk.” - Marian College
“An excellent presentation. The feedback was extremely positive.” - Mount Sackville
“The feedback from both teachers and students was really positive. The students were really engaged and felt it had a real relevancy for them. There are a lot of ‘experts’ working in schools on bullying and sometimes the students can feel “here we go again” but they were surprised by how student centred Monica’s approach was. It was exactly what we wanted and we have already been able to follow up on the issues you spoke on in a positive manner. We asked for volunteers after the talk to help with an ‘anti bullying’ project and we had to fight off the number wanting to help.” - Mount Temple
“We found the talk great and were extremely happy with it.” - Our Ladys Terenure
“We were very happy with the anti-bullying talks given.” - Patrician SEH.SCH
“Excellent talks, very interesting and effective.” - St. Kevins
“Monica did a fantastic job. The students were raving about it and said it was the best talk they’d ever gone to.” - St. Andrews
“We had great feedback from staff and students alike after Monica’s talk for our Healthy Living Week. We are looking to have her back to do a similar talk with a different group of students.” - St. Dominics, Ballyfermot
“We had wonderful feedback from our students after Monica’s talk. They can’t stop talking to their form teacher about it. We very much hope Monica can come out to us again in the future to share with more of our students.” - St. Josephs, Rush
“Monica’s talk was very successful and the feedback was excellent. The teachers who sat in on the talk said it was absolutely fantastic and very informative. The students really benefitted from the experience and we would welcome Monica back any time she is in the area.” - St. Marys, Baldoyle
“We cannot thank Monica enough for such a wonderful presentation. The feedback from parents was excellent. We all took so much away from it and I, for one, will be changing a few rules around my house. We have asked her if she can give a presentation to our students as soon as possible.” - St. Marys, Killester
“The students found Monica’s talk both informative and beneficial and we have even had great feedback from parents whose children talked about the presentation at home, so Monica’s talk even impacted parents too. The students really gained a lot from the talk and we will certainly be inviting Monica back to speak again.” - Pipers Hil