Sponsored by 'Philadelphia Donegal Association'
I am Ciara Travers, age 22, from the quaint little town of Malvern, right outside of Philadelphia. I am the daughter of Seamus and Marie Travers, who met in Philadelphia after leaving Ireland in the 1980’s. Mum grew up right outside of Donegal Town and dad is from Glenfarne, in lovely Leitrim. Being the 2nd child of five, our parents bestowed strong Irish values upon us. The kettle is always on, the door always open, and we are often hosting visitors. Irish culture has always been at the forefront of our family!
I am currently pursuing a degree in Nursing with a Spanish minor at Neumann University, just outside of Philadelphia, with the hope of working with children as a pediatric nurse. Once I graduate I would love to work at one of the several world-renowned children’s hospitals in the Philadelphia area. Before settling into my career, I would love to spend time abroad in an underdeveloped country serving as a nurse to help those in need.
I am deeply involved in service and the community at Neumann University. Selected as a Presidential Ambassador in my sophomore year, I represent Neumann University and their president Dr. Mirenda at service events, fundraising galas, and community development programs. I am also leader of a group called House of Joseph’s, in which I connect volunteers to one of the greater Philadelphia area’s most in need homeless shelters, focusing specifically on helping people in the deep stages of AIDS. Dealing with an illness like AIDS is not just a difficult diagnosis because of its severity, the stigma associated with the disease is often a sentence to a life of isolation. Spending time with these men and women of all ages is a reminder for me that the simple things matter in life. Making time for the lonely, sick, and elderly is a gift we all can give in this often crazy world.
Beyond my involvement at Neumann, I enjoy staying connected to my Irish roots through sports. I play for the Notre Dames Women’s Gaelic Football team and The Philadelphia Hurling and Camogie Club. This past year I have been working hard to establish Philadelphia’s only ladies camogie team!
Participating in the Mary from Dungloe is a great honor for me. From a young age I would travel to Donegal with my family every other summer. My aunt would bring my sister and I to the festival every chance we had. It is truly a dream realized to be a part of the festival as Philadelphia’s representative. I am looking forward to being a part of this 49th Annual Mary from Dungloe Festival, meeting the other Mary’s, and enjoying my time with family and friends here in Ireland.