My name is Caireen McCluskey and I am an alumna of Corran Integrated Primary School in Larne and Ulidia Integrated College in Carrickfergus. Upon completing my integrated education, I went on to graduate with a first class honours in law, followed by a PhD in political philosophy. I was admitted to the New York bar as an attorney-at-law in 2013 and as a solicitor in England and Wales in 2016. I currently work at Clifford Chance LLP, a magic circle law firm as an associate in their Energy and Infrastructure practice. In 2017 I took a leave of absence from work and qualified as a ski instructor.
Whilst it is important to take time reflect on our various accomplishments, it is equally important to remember the journey. My time in integrated education provided a solid grounding on which I could grow and develop both personally and academically, setting the trajectory for all that came after.
At Ulidia, I was fortunate enough to be educated by teachers who challenged me every single day and who wouldn’t let me use my mistakes as excuses to give up. My teachers refused to let me acquiesce in mediocrity and would not accept anything but my best effort. They truly cared and showed an enduring confidence in my abilities even when I didn't.
Today, I am proud to be a trustee of the Integrated AlumNI, promoting integrated education to anyone who will listen! We are immensely fortunate to be alumni of integrated education and we owe it to each other, our family, our teachers, our schools and our community to pursue our wildest dreams (whatever they may be). After all, we are the proof of the pudding!