Heres an excerpt from the Bainbridge Chronicle:
Royal date for New-Bridge Integrated College students
NEW-BRIDGE College students are still on cloud nine after rubbing shoulders with royalty last Friday.
Jack Whyte, Beth McDaniel, Caitlin McShane and Luke Mayger were thrilled to meet Prince Harry and his actress fiancée Meghan Markle at the ‘Amazing the Space’ event in the Eikon Centre, near Lisburn.
‘Amazing the Space’ is a youth-led peace-building initiative, which empowers young people across Northern Ireland to become ambassadors for peace within their communities.
Championed by Rev. David Latimer, the project creates opportunities for young people to contribute to a more peaceful society, acknowledging that they can be key agents of change.
The New-Bridge students were chosen because they are part of the college’s Pupil Council, who along with Mrs. Louise McKinstry, Citizenship Coordinator devised a peace pledge 18 months ago.
They made a video showing how they live out the pledge in their daily school lives and it was shown on the day, along with submissions from other schools.
The promises made in the peace pledge, along with the work the college does in lessons when dealing with controversial issues, helped New-Bridge to win the Evens Foundation Prize for Peace Education – the first UK school to be awarded the prestigious accolade.
Mrs Eimear McKeown, Integration and Inclusion Co-ordinator at New-Bridge College, explained: “Students have been working on messages of hope and commitment towards a peaceful future inspired by the theme of this year’s ‘Amazing the Space 2’, which encourages young people to participate in peace pledge projects demonstrating how they are ‘living out’ their peace pledges in their communities.
“Our Pupil Council have worked with students throughout the school to create a short film which illustrates how we strive to live out the peace pledge on a daily basis.
“As Laureate of the Evens Foundation Prize for Peace Education, we had an extraordinary place in the ‘Amazing the Space’ event.
“Our senior students Beth McDaniel and Jack Whyte helped with presentation, along with six other students chosen from schools all over Northern Ireland, and were expertly guided by compere Barra Best.
“At special invitation, Caitlin McShane and Luke Mayger shared the VIP seats with some very special guests, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
“We are so proud of our students who were wonderful ambassadors for our school during this very prestigious event.”
For 13-year-old Caitlin McShane, who got to sit right beside American actress Meghan, it was a moment she will remember for years to come.
“When the VIPs arrived at the Eikon Centre, everyone was clapping and cheering,” she recalled.
“They sat down beside Luke and I; then Meghan turned towards me and we shook hands with her and Harry.
“They asked us what school we attended and what year we were in.
“They were both lovely and down to earth, and seemed very interested.
“I don’t think I’ll forget it any time soon! We must have been beside them for about an hour.
“She’s gorgeous in person. I’d seen pictures of them before but I wouldn’t have been an obsessive fan or anything.
“I’ll definitely be taking more of an interest in them from now on!”
Fourteen-year-old Luke Mayger is still on a high after the “awesome” experience.
“They were so friendly and seemed to really enjoy the event,” he revealed.
“I’m still a bit shocked to have met them; I’ve since followed them on Twitter.
“Lots of our teachers have been talking about it, and it was mentioned in assembly.
“It was really exciting to be there!”
Jack Whyte (17) and Beth McDaniel (18) were invited to co-host the event with BBC presenter Barra Best.
Year 13 student Jack admitted he was a “bit nervous” being on stage in front of the 2,500-strong audience and the VIP guests.
“It was an unbelievable experience,” he enthused. “We got to meet Harry and Meghan and shake hands with them.
“It was a big thing to share the stage with Barra Best and the royals.”
Beth was equally as enthusiastic about her brush with the prince and his bride-to-be.
“Jack and I were told the night before at rehearsals that Harry and Meghan were going to be there, but we weren’t allowed to tell anyone.
“I couldn’t sleep that night! It was amazing to see them in reality.
“When I found out that they had got engaged I was so excited.
“Meghan is so pretty in person. At the end, all the comperes presented a gift to them and we had a photo opportunity.”
The Eikon Exhibition Centre was chosen to be Prince Harry and Meghan’s first stop on their whirlwind trip to Northern Ireland.
The couple enjoyed lunch in Belfast’s Crown Bar, before visiting the campus of Northern Ireland’s next generation science park, Catalyst Inc. Their visit ended with a tour of Titanic Belfast.