Young Social Innovators co-founder Rachel Collier announces retirement as CEO after 21 yearsPadraig Conlon 25 Jul 2022
After 21 years, the co-founder of Young Social Innovators (YSI), Rachel Collier, is retiring as CEO.
Rachel is planning on spending more time with her family in the immediate term, and then, in new ways, to contribute to the development of social innovation education which continues to be her passion.
YSI is a non-profit organisation established by Rachel and Sr. Stanislaus Kennedy in 2001.
Founded on the belief in the power of youth, its programmes, training and events, enable young people to grapple with difficult social issues, advocating reform and advancing change.
Each year, circa 15,000 young people are supported to explore social issues that concern them and come up with a variety of responses to these.
Prior to the establishment of YSI, both women worked together in the early 1980’s to setup and develop Focus Point (now Focus Ireland), and their collaboration and friendship has been a driving force for social innovation itself.
Gerry Fitzpatrick, Chairman of Young Social Innovators, acknowledges her contribution: “Rachel has been at the core of building YSI into an incredibly successful education-led organisation that inspires young people to build a sustainable and fairer world.
“Throughout her 21-year tenure she has helped build a resilient, dynamic organisation which is continuing to grow and support youth-led social innovation.
“We thank Rachel for her tireless work and we wish her well in the next stage of her journey.
“The Board and Rachel are working closely on recruiting a new CEO and on ensuring that the transition is managed and includes appropriate input from the YSI team and our stakeholders.”
Commenting on her time with YSI, Rachel said: “YSI is an organisation and team I love and treasure.
“It is striving to give access to ways all young people in Ireland can innovate and build a fairer, more equal, inclusive and sustainable world.
“It grew from a pilot project in 2001 with just one programme, 11 schools and 100 teenagers to what it is today: involving various initiatives and engaging between 14-15,000 teenagers every year.
“YSI, with the support of its many public, philanthropic and company partners, will continue to provide quality ways to engage young people in problem solving, creative thinking and innovative change-making for many years to come and will share its unique and fun way of empowering young people here and internationally.
“I look forward to seeing what emerges from YSI in future years.”