New York Mary
Sharon Margaret Brady
Sponsored by Glenveigh Contracting
Hello! I am Sharon Margaret Brady. I am 28 years old and from Yonkers, New York, which hosts a large Irish Community. I have grown up with a strong connection to County Leitrim, Ireland. Both my parents hail from Lovely Leitrim. I am currently the President of the County Leitrim Society of NY, to date the youngest person to hold the office of President. Both my parents instilled a love and pride of their Irish heritage within my brother and myself. I have grown up playing Gaelic Football, playing the tin whistle, and performing Irish dancing.
I received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Long Island University, C.W. Post in 2009. In May of 2012, I earned a Masters of Science in Education with a dual certificate in Childhood Education and Students with Disabilities. Currently, I work as a Special Education Science teacher in the South Bronx for children with Behavior Disorders, Autism, and the Intellectually Disabled. My goal is to continue my service to those in need by pursuing a second Masters in Speech Language Pathology or a PhD in Special Education.
I enjoy traveling through Europe, running, reading, American Sign Language, and volunteering with children and those with special needs. I have been traveling on a pilgrimage to Lourdes every Easter since 2010, as part of the American Special Children Pilgrimage Group (ASCPG). I ran the TCS NYC marathon this past November to raise funds for ASCPG. In addition, I am a Eucharistic Minister at my parish St. Paul the Apostle Church.
In 2014, along with three other people, I helped to implement Scór na nÓg in New York. This was the first occasion that the Scór competition was staged in the United States. Since then it has gone from strength to strength. I believe it is vitally important that we encourage children to participate in all aspects of their Irish culture, not only through Gaelic football and hurling, but also through song, dance, music, recitations, and léiriú. The Scór na nÓg highlights the talents and abilities of the children. Also in the same year, The Irish Echo honored me with their “Top 40 Under 40” award. The Irish Top 40 Under 40 honors those up and coming leaders of Irish America from every walk of life, and from every part of the nation. I was honored as one of their top 6 awardees with the Shaping Young Minds Award.
In the last year, I set a goal to run a marathon in every state. So far, I ran 4 marathons in the following states: New York, Delaware, Arizona, and Rhode Island in 6 months. Running marathons have allowed me to test my limits in terms of perseverance and dedication to setting and accomplishing my goals in life.
When on summer holidays from work, I enjoy immersing myself within my community by teaching a Celtic Summer Camp at the Aisling Irish Community Center on McLean Avenue in Yonkers. This camp incorporates all aspects of Irish Culture (singing, dancing, music, folklore, language, and drama), along with other fun activities, arts & crafts, and games. I also enjoy baking some of my Granny’s recipes. Recently, I have been taking Irish language classes. I find Irish to be a beautiful language.
I enjoy travelling through Ireland especially Leitrim, where most of my family are based. Being that Donegal isn’t too far from Leitrim, I take day trips to Bundoran, Ballyshannon, and further afield to enjoy the grandeur and beauty of the famed hills of Donegal.
In years past, I have attended the festival in Dungloe and thought that it was such a lovely festival put together by an amazing community. It is hard to believe that I am now one of the Mary’s! I look forward to representing the Irish diaspora that reside in New York by participating in this year’s Mary from Dungloe International festival. I love the values that the festival represents and fosters for young Irish and Irish American women in Ireland and aboard.