St Angela’s College. May 2014

    Eileen delivered a talk to our Junior students on self esteem, looking after our mental health, looking out for each other, where to find support etc. and held their attention throughout. The feedback from many of the students was very positive. They liked the way she threw out questions to the floor and asked them to reflect on certain topics. These are some of the comments from our students  –  “It really made me think”. “I liked the way she made it really relevant to our age group”. “She was really good”. Many of the teachers present commented afterwards on how attentive our students were and how worthwhile the topics covered were. Eileen was very easy to work with and accommodating for our school’s needs.


    Mount Mercy College Cork:

    Eileen Keane, director of Jumpstartyourconfidence.com has had a very positive response from our students.  This is our second year availing of her programmes for 1st year students pertaining to:

    • The importance of a positive Self-Esteem
    • Social Media and Bullying Awareness

    The students’ feedback was very positive. They indicated that the sessions helped them to understand issues many of them have had whilst  settling  into secondary school. For example;

    v  the fact that many students found things difficult but now realized they were not alone,

    v  the importance of believing in themselves

    v  the importance of friendship

    v  the damaging effects of all types of bullying.

    They found the Social Media section especially helpful in giving them strategies to find a balanced life and helped their awareness as to the pros and cons of same.

    This is our first year availing of the Coping Skills talk for Junior Cert Students and this was also very well received by the students. Eileen dealt with issues such as peer pressure, choices, self-control and exam pressure in a very holistic way. She has a deep understanding of the issues concerning young people today and a natural empathy with teenagers.

    I would highly recommend both of Eileen’s sessions and would be happy to give further feedback to any school interested in these talks.

    Ellen Van Walleghem

    Deputy Principal

    Mount Mercy College



     Colaiste Muire Crosshaven

    Thanks again Eileen for the presentations you did recently for our First Year girls in Colaiste Muire Crosshaven.
    The feedback from the girls was excellent in relation to both content covered and your presentation/interaction with the students.
    The timing [just after Christmas holidays] seems to have worked well and hopefully the full benefits of the presentations will become evident as the remainder of the year unfolds.

    Hopefully we will be in a position to repeat the exercise in the forthcoming academic year.
    Regards Pat O Flynn.




    “Alice first met Eileen at end of August just before starting transition year.  She had been very quiet and was not part of any group and I suppose was feeling isolated.  I was concerned about transition year and wanted her to be able to enjoy herself.   Meeting Eileen changed everything.  Eileen made her feel very comfortable and they talked about everything from school, discos, drinking, friends, boys, career choices.  Eileen encourages her, gives practical advise and is so supportive.  A few short months later Alice is flying, she got very involved in transition year, made some lovely friends, grown in confidance and most importantly is so much happier in herself.  Eileen is always available through text/email and Alice loves their chats.  She is always positive and upbeat after meeting with Eileen.  Eileen is incredibly helpful and encouraging.  Meeting Eileen was one of the best things I ever did for my daughter



    “Hi Eileen

    I just wanted to express my sincere thanks. What a morning!!!!. He did not want to go initially but openly said after that the session was great. Hes brighter and cheerful and delighted with himself!!! You gave us both food for thought , and while my day was a bit of a rollercoaster that did not end until 1am last evening I really wanted to thank you. Id definitely hope to be back.
    Its wonderful knowing that I have someone now that Id trust and could meet with if the going gets tough tore think choices and who to proceed. Regarding myself, I really do hope to slow down a bit and take the time and have chatted to Tom about it so hopefully once everything is in place that will happen. !!!!!
    Your concept is wonderful-You will make a lot of people happy and there is one delighted little boy here with a mom a little more sure of her role this morning
    thank you”

    “Hi Eileen,

    The parenting session was great, really opened our eyes and we are definitely a bit calmer!

    I think we just needed to realise we are doing ok, the boys are happy, so are we, and thats the main thing.

    Thanks Eileen, the session really made a difference.



    “Hi Eileen

    I just wanted to drop you a quick line to say thanks for the talks you have given to first years in Mount Mercy. My daughter is in first year and would be a quiet gentle girl and whilst she is getting on well in first year after your talks to them (which seems to reinforcing everything I try to tell her about being confident) she seems a lot happier in herself.

    Kind regards

    A Happier Mum”


    “Dear Eileen

    Thank you so much for the time you gave me before I started secondary school. The advice you gave me really helped.

    I am getting on really well now.

    Thanks again



    “I am not sure where to begin to thank you for the remarkable transformation you have brought about in my daughter Alice.

    I must admit that I was very concerned as I watched my lovely little girl, despite, or perhaps in spite of our best efforts, becoming a retiring and reticent ‘clone’, overly made up and desperately trying to fit some image that was simply not her, for the sake of acceptance by her peers. She went from a happy, bright, out-going child to someone who was afraid to say or do anything that might appear to be ‘uncool’. I felt quite helpless at times as I witnessed her disappear.

    I am not sure what magic potion you used but the results have been quite spectacular. It has been several months since you saw her and I am sure that you won’t remember her but suspect that you would not recognise her now either. She is no longer the quiet, retiring and somewhat ‘orange’ hued young lady that she was but has blossomed into herself. Incidentally (or perhaps not!) about the time that Alice rediscovered herself the bullying stopped. I am not privy to all of her dynamics, nor should I be, but it seems that she simply stopped being a victim. She did confide in me though that she had decided to cut back on her use of social media / facebook because it was “mostly just crap”. I don’t really know what you do, Eileen. I asked Alice but she didn’t want to discuss it much and I had to respect that. She did say however that “Eileen, well…she’s kinda like a mum but she’s cool. She, like totally got me”. Do you think if I sent her back to you again you could convince her not to use the word ‘like’ in every single sentence, or is that just asking too much.

    What you do should be part of every school’s curriculum particularly in our present climate.

    Many many thanks – the concerned dad!”


    “Hi Eileen

    Sorry for the delay in replying but I waited a few days just to see how Sean would get on after the dust settled

    He definitely seems happy to have seen you. It’s hard to say yet, but he seems a bit more relaxed. He has a test coming up tomorrow and he’s anxious about it but he’s not letting it spiral out of control.

    Initially, he swore that he would say nothing at all about your conversation, but he has since let slip that we had told him a lot of what you said to him Saturday. Hearing it from you, though, validates our opinions, therefore i think he puts more store in what we might say to him and feels that he can trust us.

    Another change I’ve noticed is when something happens that would have previously stressed him out (a missing school gym-shirt, for example), he has taken responsibility for it, if necessary asked for help in sorting things out but not freaked out and blamed anyone else for either causing the problem, or not solving it for him. This is only a small example, but might be significant in the long run.

    As for myself, just sympathising with whatever is bothering him rather than offering a solution is working a treat. Then, if he wants me to help him out, he will ask, so he is in “control” of the problem.

    Also, knowing that you speak to schools meant that Sean feels that he’s not the only one who feels a bit lost. This was also very positive.

    Overall, Sean seems happier than he was last week and that’s the most important thing, so thank you very much for your time.

    Best wishes




    I was introduced to Eileen Keane three years ago. Since that time we have worked together in organising fashion shows in order to raise money for some well known charities in Cork. Eileen is a true professional who brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her events. Modeling at any stage in someone’s life can be a terrifying experience, yet she ensures everyone is made feel comfortable and confident. Eileen has a passion for helping people feel their best. She has an extremely pleasant way of dealing with, and reaching out to young people. Struggling with confidence is a difficult place to be especially now with the pressures on young people. I wish Eileen every success with her new venture. Our youth are in safe hands with Eileen. Go n-éirí leat.

    Juliet Murphy, Juliet Murphy Health and Fitness Club


    Eileen organised a fashion show for our school in 2011. This was hugely successful as a fundraising initiative.

    Eileen took full control of this fashion show from the onset. Initially some children were reluctant to model but Eileen encouraged all children to participate. She taught the children their routines in a professional, easy-going manner and on the night each child in the school (and some staff) walked down the ramp confidently and happily. It was particularly nice to see some of the more timid children smiling and waving to their parents and families.

    What started as a fundraising venture had evolved as an exercise which promoted self esteem, team play and camaraderie. Thanks Eileen.

    Catherine Fleming, Liaison Teacher, Vicarstown National School, Marc Ó Síocháin, Príomhoide


    Firstly I would like to say a very big thank you for the confidence and simple feel good factor that you have helped me to achieve over the last two years. Working with you throughout the challenges, in particular the “Grand Finale” Fashion Show to mark the end of each challenge was such a wonderful experience. From someone who never “walked the plank” i.e. the dreaded cat walk, I can honestly say you made the whole experience so enjoyable. One could not but pick up on your amazing drive, confidence and energy. Not only did you offer real tips on fashion, and deportment with constant words of assurance and encouragement, but you have the ability to tailor that advice regardless of age. Whether a young teenager or mature lady you had something to offer everyone. What you have in a nutshell is the gift to make people feel good about themselves and have the confidence to get out there to enjoy and cherish the moment.

    Best of luck and I look forward to many more encounters.

    Margaret Cotter, Complaints and Ombudsman Manager, Customer Relations Department, permanenttsb


    I had the pleasure of speaking to 200+ parents in Mitchelstown recently in the company of Mr. John Lonergan (ex governor Mount Joy) He was a breath of fresh air. We spoke on topics relating to parenting and communication.  We had a great turnout which was very uplifting in times when parenting can be so challenging.


    john lonergan and me

    Growing up in an age where tablets, smart phones, smart TV’s, consoles and computers are all part of life can be exciting and liberating at times, but for parents, it can be hard to keep up with changing technologies and sometimes they don’t know how to protect their children from the potential dangers online.

    The Parent’s Council from St Fanahan’s College organised a talk Growing Up In The Cyber Age, last Wednesday, October 9, as an opportunity for parents to learn more about the virtual world, which is such a major part of their children’s lives.

    On the night, speakers included Sgt Kevin Sweeney, Community Garda John Hennessy, Eileen Keane of Jump Start Your Confidence and former Governor of Mount Joy, John Lonergan who all spoke about internet safety, parenting and the importance of communication.

    Garda John Hennessy stressed that the information talk highlighted the fact that the parents locally realised how prominent this issue is at the moment.

    Sgt Kevin Sweeney, based in Fermoy made the point that while the internet is a great asset, it can also be a dangerous place and the best way to be prepared to face problems if they arise, is to be well informed.

    One of the warnings that came across stark and clear was that once something goes online, it is there forever and while the drunken photographs from a night out might be great craic when you’re 19, they may not look like so much fun to a prospective employer who checks out your Facebook page when you are looking for a job at 23.

    He said that it is really important to talk to your children and be open about what they do and see online, so that if something happens they will come to the parents.

    While children are taught not to talk to strangers, they might see nothing wrong with putting up their school, full name, and GPS coordinates online. Similarly, adults will put things up on Facebook and other social media sites about being on holidays for two weeks – while they wouldn’t tell a stranger thisinformation, they will happily share it with the world online.

    “Being online alone in your own bedroom is like sitting in Patrick Street at a big window, where everyone can see what you’re doing,” Sgt Sweeney said.

    He advised parents to make sure that their children personally know everyone that they are connected to online and that their privacy settings are set to maximum.

    The sergeant spoke of one incident he had investigated where a 15-year-old girl was video chatting online and as things escalated, she took off her clothes and did things she was asked to do – without her realising, she was sharing this with three men, not one, and within minutes, the footage and pictures had been uploaded to more than 20 porn sites.

    He also spoke of websites which encourage things like self-harm, suicide or anorexia and sites that teach people how to groom young children.

    With cyber bullying, he pointed out that by the time the Gardai get involved, it has often gotten very serious, so it needs to be caught at school or home level before things escalate and one of the worst things about cyber bullying is that it can be anonymous, where the victim has no idea who their bully is.

    Eileen Keane of Jump Start your Confidence spoke about the importance of building self-esteem from a young age, having open dialogue with your children and giving them space when they need it.

    While many parents are quick to point out flaws or mistakes, she said that it is really important to thank children, even when are very young, and praise them for doing small jobs.

    She stressed the importance of respect, saying that it is a huge part of parenting and that praise and encouragement are also very important, but also to be realistic without being cruel so that the child isn’t being set up for a big fall, by falsely thinking that they are really good at something when they’re not.

    Setting goals will also help to build their self-esteem, while Eileen said that it is crucial to build up a trusting relationship.

    Sometimes it can be hard to talk to children about difficult subjects and in this case, Eileen recommended texting each other or writing it down.

    She concluded with a quote from Alvin Price which really sums up what parents should be doing for their children: “Parents need to fill a child’s bucket of self-esteem so high that the rest of the world can’t poke enough holes to drain it dry”.

    Speaking about the importance of being a parent, John Lonergan made the point that while people are trained for most professions, parenting is the most important job anyone will have and yet very few people are actually prepared for it.

    He said that parents need to accept their child and their interests and abilities, so as not to make them do activities or subjects that they really aren’t interested in.

    Chatting is something that should be part of every parent/child relationship, according to John, who said that when a child approaches a parent to tell them something, they should just listen and try not to judge.

    Non negotiable ‘no-no’s’ in John’s book included put downs, which can leave a damaging mark that they will never forget, comparisons, which are always unfair as there is always a loser in a comparison, arguing, getting angry and being negative.



    Keep a computer in the family room and control the amount of time they are online.

    * Don’t allow mobile phones to be used at night time in bed.

    * Create different user accounts for members of the family on the computer, with different safety features appropriate to ages.

    * Talk to your children and create a free dialogue around what they do online and who they talk to.

    * Visit some of these websites for help and support: www.internetsafety.ie www.webwise.ie www.watchyourspace.ie and www.childline.ie.