Lia Foley-Kelleher

Meet Lia Foley-Kelleher, a third-year of Project Design at The National College of Art and Design (NCAD). Lia’s involvement with STAND began when she was a first-year student in university, and the impact her involvement has had on her student journey is significant: “What STAND does is incredible and I am so happy to be part of it, which made me apply to every opportunity I could. I built great relationships with other participants, facilitators and STAND staff.” 

From starting at the Ideas Collective to being a member of the Student Advisory Panel for two years, Lia represents the power of students standing up for global justice. At the beginning of her journey, she had doubts about the worth of her activism, but she learned that every young adult could bring about change. She says: “I come from a design background, but I have always had such passion about how we can make the world a better place. Sometimes I felt like what I was doing in university wasn't applicable to being an activist. But that's not true, and STAND showed me that everyone is welcome. Anyone can make a difference as long as they are passionate.” 

Lia's experience with the Student Advisory Panel (SAP) at STAND represents evolution fuelled by engagement. Now in her second year on the panel, Lia expresses unwavering commitment to using her voice. She says: “What STAND is doing with the SAP is amazing because they value the opinions of the panel and take them into consideration. There's a great amount of give and take during the meetings, it shows that STAND lives by their values and it's great to be a part of it.” 

Reflecting on her growth, Lia highlights the profound impact STAND has had on her communication skills and confidence. Conquering nerves, she honed her ability to articulate ideas effectively: “At NCAD, I'm constantly designing new products and presenting them to companies almost every week, and so developing my presentation skills with STAND really helped in university.” Her enhanced networking skills have unlocked many opportunities, both personally and professionally.  

For Lia, students have great power to make change, but that can come with feelings of loneliness and overwhelm. In her opinion, young adults also put a lot of pressure on themselves by trying to solve the global issues they care about. That’s why having like-minded people around can help.

It’s important to get involved with organisations like STAND and finding your community, where you can share your interests and worries but also learn from each other. Taking part on social justice and know that you're all there for a reason, to contribute to make this world a better place, is good”

Lia Foley-Kelleher