Teenage entrepreneur Harry McCann has been chosen for a Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Young Citizen Award in recognition of his passion for digital technology, Youth Advocacy, STEM education and start-ups.

The Rotary club of Naas nominated Harry, aged 18, for his impressive achievements within the field of digital technology, having spent most of his teenage years working on various tech-related entrepreneurial projects.

Harry from Clane in Co. Kildare founded his first business at the age of 15 – Kid Tech, which ran training courses and holiday camps teaching coding and technology to young children. Through this, he realised the importance of STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) education and over the space of sixteen months, he went on to teach over 800 kids to code all around Ireland.

In 2014, Harry founded the first Digital Youth Council in the world, which he is currently Director of. This was created to provide a platform for some of Ireland’s leading young STEM advocates, to work with the Irish government in delivering programmes, creating opportunities and ensuring that young people have a say in their future. Since 2013, he has been working with government and industry to make sure young people are influencing the future of the STEM sector in Ireland and Europe.

Having been ranked first in the Sunday Independent’s Top 30 under 30 in 2016, Harry has a wealth of experience in the digital technology field for someone so young. His work has been publicised by the Irish Times, the Irish Independent, the Examiner, the Sunday Independent and the Leinster Leader.

His most recent business venture is Trendsterpress.com which he founded in January 2016.

The judges of the Young Citizen award chose seven overall winners, from over 50 entries from across Great Britain and Ireland. Harry will join the other Young Citizen Award winners to receive his award on stage at the Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland Conference in Manchester on Saturday 8th April, which will be presented by TV Presenter Ellie Crisell. Interviews with all the award-winning youngsters will be broadcast on BBC News Channel.

As well as receiving a trophy at the ceremony, Harry will also receive £500 towards his chosen cause.

Harry, who travelled to Manchester to receive the award, commented: “It’s been over four years since I founded my first business and every day since has been incredible. I have got to meet and work with some amazing people over the last few years, including some truly wonderful Rotarians. I am delighted that the people at Rotary think highly enough of me to award me the Youth Citizen Award for 2017, and I will be forever grateful for the support and guidance they have given me over the past few years. I look forward to being a member of the Rotary club Naas for many years to come.”

Now celebrating their tenth anniversary, the Rotary Young Citizen Awards were created to recognise people under the age of 25 who have demonstrated their commitment to citizenship through various activities.

Eve Conway, President of Rotary International in Great Britain and Ireland, comments: “The achievements of these young people are outstanding and serve as an inspiration to us all. Harry is an incredible young man, who is a shining example of how young people can achieve anything they put their minds to.

“Rotary is proud to be able to hold these awards, which highlight how many positive young role models we have in society. The accomplishments of the nominees each year continues to astound us and makes the job of judging the entries very difficult.”

For more information about Rotary’s Youth Competitions visit: http://www.rotarygbi.org/what-we-do/youth-competitions/

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