Meghan Grace Mc Gill
Sponsored by Glenveigh Contracting
My name is Meghan Grace McGill; I am 21 years of age. I grew up in Queens, New York with a medium sized backyard and a park down the block. From a very early age, I have been travelling back and forth to Donegal, to the quaint village of Ardara, where both of my parents are from. My mam Carmel Herron comes from the townland of Edergole and my dad Patrick Mc Gill from Maghera. I am blessed that all of my grandparents are still living each having a great influence on my life and culture. Growing up, I believed myself to have a second and third backyard. In Edergole it was “up the hill”, and in Maghera it was “out the strand”. As a child entering kindergarten, I was excited to hear about all the other kids who had multiple backyards just like me, but it ended up that I was beyond lucky to have a heritage as strong as the Irish, where I consider Donegal my second home. I am an only child but it has never felt that way. As one of the eldest among both sides of grandchildren, there’s always a baby cousin to take care of, one of which is my adorable Goddaughter. However, I view them all as my little brothers and sisters as the ocean between us has never curbed our closeness. I cannot wait to see them all grow up and what the future holds for them.
This May I graduated from Farmingdale State College, here in New York with a Bachelor of Science in Applied Psychology. While I love psychology, during my college career I discovered that my true passion is for occupational therapy. I will be pursuing a Master’s of Occupational Therapy in 2018. My personal goal is to be a licensed therapist by the age of 25.
At the moment I am volunteering at St. Mary’s Hospital For Children in Bayside, Queens. It has been such a rewarding experience. There, I have the opportunity to work with the occupational therapists and participate in their treatment sessions. I also engage in recreational activities with kids who all have a large range of capabilities and special needs. The services that these children receive are absolutely crucial for an improving lifestyle. My experience at St. Mary’s has been a huge factor in deciding to peruse occupational therapy as what I want to spend as my life-long career.
During the 2015-2016 school year I attended the National University of Ireland Galway. There I had the opportunities to continue my psychology degree, learn the Irish language, culture, and even participate in a Service Learning program, where I tutored at Scoil Bhríde, a local primary school. I also travelled to over 8 countries with money I had saved up from waitressing. Some of these included Portugal, Italy, Scotland, and Holland. However, no matter where I wandered, I always ended up on the Feda Bus for Donegal to go home for the weekend.
This is my first time taking part in the Mary from Dungloe festival and I am greatly honored to represent New York. I am especially looking forward to strengthening my Donegal connections on an international level, meeting other women who have such strong ties as well. I am positive it will be the experience of a lifetime.
New York Mary