Alumnus Kyle O’Brien is Western Wisconsin’s Young Ambassador in Ireland

May’s been a busy month for Kyle O’Brien. He graduated from UW-L with finance and marketing degrees May 16. On May 31, he flew to Dublin, Ireland, as a Young Ambassador representing western Wisconsin.

The Young Ambassador Program is organized through the Friends of Saint Patrick Organization and the Saint Patrick Centre in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. It’s designed to promote a greater understanding of the shared cultural heritage of Northern Ireland in North America with those aged 20-25.

The program pays ambassadors’ travel and accommodation expenses to Downpatrick and County Down for 15 days in June. Ambassadors explore Irish history and traditions and develop a cultural dissertation. They also serve as life-long representatives of Northern Ireland and develop on-going relationships with Chapters of the Friends of Saint Patrick, the Saint Patrick Centre and organizations linked to the program.

O’Brien was selected by the officers of Irishfest-La Crosse and is one of nine ambassadors. “We were looking for a young person who had a strong record of both academics and campus involvement,” says President of Irishfest-La Crosse Pat Stephens. “In addition to numerous clubs and organizations, Kyle also served as vice president of the UW-L Student Government. Being able to speak comfortably in public sessions was also a key qualification. He will be presenting his story and experience at Irishfest this year.”

This year’s Irishfest-La Crosse celebration runs from Friday through Sunday, Aug. 7-9. For more details on Irishfest-La Crosse, visit

Read O’Brien’s blog about the trip at

Find out more about the Saint Patrick Centre at and the ambassador program at