Pat Morgan, Gortahork Youthreach Centre, retires from his position as the Youthreach Centre Coordinator today, Friday 04 September after managing the centre for over fifteen years. Originally from Belfast, Pat has been with the centre since it first opened its doors in 2000 and has overseen the development of the programme in the Gortahork Adult Education and Training Centre from the start.
In that time he has witnessed much change from the centre starting out as a twenty-five place centre and eventually becoming a thirty-one place centre, starting with a small staff team of three to a team of nine today, changing education provision from NICVA to FETAC to QQI accreditation, management changes from Co Donegal VEC to Donegal ETB, funding changes from the Department of Education to SOLAS, introduction of inspections to Youthreach (including the completion of a successful centre inspection), not to mention the transformation of the centre from the ‘old tech’ to one of Donegal ETB’s eight Adult Education and Training Centres today, including the addition of a state of the art crèche and an extension to the building a number of years ago. He has taken all of this change in his stride with his own brand of Northern humour! More importantly, Pat has supported so many young people who attended the programme since it first opened. Gortahork Youthreach is a 31 place centre but because Youthreach operates a continuous intake policy all year around, this has mean that around 400 early school leavers have passed through its doors in Pat’s time.
Managing a rural Youthreach centre in the Gaeltacht saw Pat build relationships with local schools, HSE personnel, Gardaí, employers and voluntary and community groups in order to support the programme and services offered to its young learners. As the programme Maths tutor, Pat was innovative and creative in his teaching of a subject that many of the Gortahork learners struggled with in school.
The staff of Gortahork Youthreach and staff and Coordinators from Youthreach across the county wish Pat all the best with his retirement.