This week on the Curiosity & Consciousness podcast, Tammy Darcy is my guest.
Tammy is the Founder and CEO of The Shona Project.
The year Tammy turned 14 everything changed. Her parents went through a messy separation, and her older sister, Shona was diagnosed with an acquired brain injury that rendered her physically and mentally disabled, and left her requiring full time nursing care. It was also the year she was bullied so badly in school that she spent break times in a toilet cubicle and climbing over the back wall to go home.
As a result of all these experiences, Tammy went from an A student to a fail student, her self-esteem and self-confidence were destroyed and she gave up on herself for many years, made some choices and some even bigger mistakes.
At 25, Tammy went to college at night, and achieved an honours degree in Human Resources Management followed by an MA in Business Management in Social Enterprise. She is now studying an MA in Education.
Tammy feels that if she had the right support, information and guidance, she may have been better able to overcome the challenges she encountered as a teen. She now sees that her experience is not unusual, and that many girls find their teenage years to be negative, distressing and traumatic. It is during these years that the internal barriers which prevent young women from achieving their potential are often formed.
Tammy is passionate about eradicating bullying and rivalry amongst girls and promoting the fact that our differences are what make us special and our challenges are what teach us understanding, resilience and determination.
- Founder and CEO of The Shona Project: We have impacted: 20,000 through our school workshops and events, 30,000 through our survival handbook, 40,000 at Shine Festival, 300,000 through our website, 350,000 through social media views each month.
- Author: “You’ve Got This”, a guidebook for teens. Published March 2021
- Irish Red Cross Humanitarian of The Year 2021
- Double IMRO award winner for Shine Festival 2021
- Founding member and Interim CEO of SERI: Social Enterprise Republic of Ireland, a national representative body for the Social Enterprise sector, launched 2020.
- Member of the Implementation Group for the National Social Enterprise Policy, and Chair of the Awareness Sub Group.
- Speaker at the Social Enterprise World Forum 2021
- CEO of the year: Irish Womens Awards 2019
- Social Innovation Fund Awardee 2018/ 2019
- Image Magazine Social Entrepreneur of the year Finalist 2018/ 2019
- Best Social Enterprise: Waterford Business Awards 2018
- Social Entrepreneurs Ireland Awardee 2017
- BA Human Resources, MA in Business Management (Social Enterprise) MA (Education)
It was great to connect with Tammy & hear about her inspiring work that is helping so many young girls in schools around Ireland.
In this episode, Tammy talks about:
- The traumas she went through as a teenager
- How she lived her life in a state of ‘suspended grief’
- The importance of acknowledging difficulties for a young person
- Tools she learned to cope
- The bigger picture to physical pain
- The rebuilding process
- How to change the culture in schools
- Overcoming adversity
- The vision of The Shona Project for the future
- And much more
Listen to the full episode on your platform of choice (some links below), and be sure to subscribe & share the podcast with others!
Connect with The Shona Project online: