Gaelle’s Time with Tralee Youthreach

Gaelle Adado began in Tralee Youthreach in 2015 and stayed for a total of 3 years.
She came from her native country Togo and on arrival had very limited written and spoken English, which proved to be challenging for the young student.

Gaelle admits that before attending Youthreach she had no real confidence or sense of direction in where to start with a career choice.
“The programme not only helped me to learn English but it also built up my confidence, which then helped me decide on which direction I wanted to go with my career.”


During her time on the programme Gaelle worked her way up through QQI Levels 2, 3 and 4 and left with a full QQI level 4 at Distinction level.


Gaelle studied many subjects whilst with Youthreach and is very grateful to all the teachers’ work and support, and like most students she did have her favourites.

“I really enjoyed Communications, Art and Food and Nutrition but I also enjoyed IT as I found that it helped me improve my computer skills.”


Another part of the programme that Gaelle enjoyed was the extra activities that the students get to take part in.
These include outdoor education, PE, day trips, visits to Kerry College, attending various workshops, sporting events and competitions.

“I enjoyed all of the activities that we took part in but I really enjoyed ice skating, cooking, career workshops, soccer, badminton and our trip to Fota Wildlife park in Cork.”


When asked about how she decided on her next move after Youthreach Gaelle explains how she moved on.
“I decided to go to Kerry College and study my level 5 Professional Cookery. This was a yearlong course and was very different to my life in Tralee Youthreach. With 3 years done at Youthreach and having completed my QQI level 4, I felt I was ready to go up the level to level 5.

What I had learnt on the Youthreach programme was invaluable to me when doing project work and assignments during my time at Kerry College.”

“The mentoring I got and the support from my key worker Ciara was invaluable in helping me have a goal in what I wanted to achieve.”

After completing her Professional Cookery level 5, Gaelle had decided that cooking was what she truly wanted to do as a career.

Gaelle works at a grill, using a tongs to transfer yorkshire puddings onto a wire rack. She is in a stainless steel kitchen and there is a set of hobs and a shelf of pots and pans behind her.

“My next move was being employed as a Commis Chef at the 5 Star Hayfield Manor hotel in Cork.  During my time here I have worked on various sections within the hotel. These include the afternoon tea section, preparing and sending functions in our private dining rooms and cooking for the fine dining restaurant of the hotel.”
“Currently I am working on the grill section of the hotel’s busy garden bistro which I am really enjoying as every day is really busy.”

“Working within a team of 25 plus chefs, I have found the skills I learnt whilst doing team working, a QQI Level 4 subject at Tralee Youthreach have helped me become more vocal when needed in a busy kitchen.”

“During my time at the hotel I have also completed my level 6 in culinary studies at MTU”


Gaelle has great memories from her time in Tralee Youthreach and really appreciates what the programme gave her.
“I would like to thank all of the staff at Tralee Youthreach for the everything they did for me. A special thank you to Mark Deely who gave me invaluable time and help with my Communications and team working. I would also like to thank Hayfield Manor and especially the Executive chef Mark Staples for giving me the opportunity to work within a 5-star hotel. Also I would like to thank Mark Doe for introducing me to the chef at Hayfield Manor.”


I asked Gaelle how Tralee Youthreach helped her with the transition to going into not only third level education, but also to go working in a world leading 5 star hotel. Her list was very comprehensive.

“The mentoring, web wheel sessions and encouragement I received was invaluable to helping me set my future goals. Team working was another invaluable tool that I learnt and being on the student council helped me with my confidence to speak out. I also learnt the importance of being consistent in what you do. All of this also helped me achieve student of the year, an accolade I am very proud of.”

When asked about her future goals, Gaelle has big ambitions.

“In time I want to travel and continue to work in 5-star hotels to improve my cooking skills. I also wish to return to college at some stage to complete a level 7 qualification. My ultimate goal is to one day to own my own restaurant.”



To describe her time I finish up by asking Gaelle to give me 3 words that described her time at Tralee Youthreach,  Gaelle replied with “Educational, engaging and supportive”
I feel that these 3 words not only describe the Youthreach programme perfectly, but also show what a mature and focused person Gaelle has become.


It was very rewarding to visit Gaelle in her workplace and to hear how well she is doing. I also spoke to Mark Staples from Hayfield Manor who stressed how well Gaelle has been doing. It seems like she is on an upward trajectory and we surely haven’t heard the last of her.

What makes Gaelle’s story even better is that she is an extremely nice young woman.


-Mark Doe, Tralee Youthreach.


Youthreach is co-funded by the European Union through the European Social Fund Plus. 

Read More Case Studies