Hello! For those who don’t know me, I’m Ruth O Coinleáin – and yes, that surname is pretty recognisable! (If you didn’t yet make the connection, I’m wife to our outgoing Chairman, Niall). As university students are winding down after final assessments, exams, presentations and hand ins, I’m winding up to take over from James as Fundraising Director for the Alliance of Pro Life Students. It’s a great privilege to be able to take up a Director position with APS and I’m hugely looking forward to working with the rest of the APS team over the coming months.
So a little bit about me. I studied Psychology and Linguistics at the University of Edinburgh and graduated two years ago, in July 2015. Whilst studying I worked as a student fundraiser for the university; I hope to use my experience from working for the university now for the benefit of pro life work! After graduating (and marrying the outgoing chairman – Niall O Coinleáin) I worked in Dublin for SSE Airtricity, before returning back to bonny Scotland to pursue a PGDE Primary teaching diploma this past year. I’m pleased to say I just completed my diploma (along with the necessary paperwork of being a student teacher) and now I’m looking forward to having a class of my own wee bairns come August!
I’m delighted to be able to to be part of the Alliance of Pro life students. From my own undergraduate experience, I can see how learnings of previous pro life students benefit the next generation to help to continue essential pro life work on campuses. During my initial years of university I was what might be called ‘passively pro life”; I was clear in my own head about the main life issues, and held a strong pro life view across the board, but I didn’t feel I had the confidence or experience to be able to articulate my reasons for holding these views. My confidence grew through attending events and talks held by the Edinburgh University Life Society, the SPUC Youth conference, March for Life in Birmingham and by attending training events held by the Alliance of Pro Life students. Most invaluably, through these events, I met loads of pro life students who were doing pro life stuff – they were holding events, they held a committee position in a pro life society, they were organising talks and getting involved in opportunities provided by pro life organisations.
Meeting other like minded students gets you going – it propels and inspires you to get involved. This is what the opportunities did for me. Whilst studying for my teaching diploma I have been leading the Dundee Life Society; we have held life chats and regular socials and a number of us attended the SPUC youth conference and the recent March for Life in Birmingham. With the support of the Alliance of Pro life students the Dundee Life Society will be able to grow next year, holding more events and inviting speakers. With the Alliance of Pro Life Students behind you, you don’t have to be a pro life superstar (yet!) – you can get training about how to articulate your views, what to read, show who to speak to and how to make small but meaningful pro life steps in the right direction to bring life to your university campus!
So I’m so glad to have the chance to be part of the Alliance of Pro Life students to ensure that more students are connected and supported on campuses. I look forward to meeting you, if I’ve not yet, at an APS event near you soon!