Buncrana woman nominated for American award

Jane McCarter needs your support – vote at www.irishecho.com

Jane McCarter (NYC)

Buncrana woman Jane McCarter (above) has been short-listed for a prestigious award in her adopted New York City – and needs your help to win it.

The 30 year old, daughter of John and Breda McCarter, has made a big impression since moving to the United States three years ago and taking up a job as Arts and Cultural Director at the New York Irish Center.

Jane has been nominated for the people’s choice award for the ‘40 Under 40’ People’s Choice Award, organised by the Irish Echo newspaper to celebrate Irish and Irish Americans who have distinguished themselves in their field before reaching the age of 40.

Votes must be cast online via www.irishecho.com – and the poll closes tomorrow, Friday.

As of Wednesday morning, Jane has secured almost 19% of the online vote, second behind Galvea Kelly.

Jane says being nominated has been a huge honour, and the response, particularly from back home here in Buncrana, has very overwhelming.

Jane McCarter, whose siblings are Cathy, Amy, Joseph and William, moved to New York in August 2011 to take up her role with the New York Irish Center.

“My fiancé, Robbie O’ Dowd and I always wanted to try and live and work in New York,” Jane said yesterday.

“While we were really enjoying working in Derry, we felt if we didn’t give ourselves the chance to even try and make the ‘Big Move’ to New York, while we were ‘young’ we’d never would.”

“It’s hard to believe we’ve been here three and a half years. New York is just like it is in the films: fast paced, energetic, exciting and freezing in February.

“It was minus 16° Celsius here this week!”

In her job, Jane has worked on building an arts and cultural progamme suitable for the entire community, from children, students, young professionals, young families, new emigrants, and our senior community

“Our aim is to provide quality social and recreational services through our arts and cultural program while keeping all events accessible and collaborating with other Irish organizations both here in the US and in Ireland.”

She says that she has met many wonderful people in the Irish community that has been very welcoming and supportive, and has been fortunate enough to return home on a number of occasions.

“We love being able to get home and see everyone – it’s a blessing,” she said.

“So far we have been very lucky to make it home for a couple of family weddings and Christmases.

“On the flip side, it’s so much fun to have family and friends visit, and people from home getting in touch if they here in the city.

“In saying this, after, a 12-hour transatlantic commute nothing beats coming round the Lookout at Fahan and knowing ‘you’re home’ – a feeling I’m sure many Inishowen residents can relate to.”

With hundreds of Inishowen people living undocumented in the United States, Jane has come into contact with many Irish people whose hopes on becoming legal in their adopted country are firmly pinned on President Obama’s proposed immigration reform.

“The Irish Consulate and Embassy, along with Irish centers and organisations, work and lobby tirelessly on Immigration Reform, it’s a huge priority,” she says.

“Being undocumented is so difficult in so many ways, especially not being able to travel home for the good times and a nightmare for the worst of times.

“Hopefully President Obama’s proposals will have a positive impact for countless Irish families on both sides of the Atlantic.”

The Irish Echo awards event takes place in The Manhattan Club at Rosie O’Grady’s tomorrow, Friday.

Online voting closes tomorrow, Friday, February 27.

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