\"Caroline

Caroline Duggan and The Keltic Dreams performing at the White House Photo by: Keltic Dreams

Irish teacher honored for her work as founder of The Keltic Dreams in NYC

\"Caroline

Caroline Duggan and The Keltic Dreams performing at the White House Photo by: Keltic Dreams

An Irish native who teaches music in the Bronx has been honored for her work with socio-economic challenged students.

Dublin born Caroline Duggan (33) has been chosen as one of the honorees for 2012 Above & Beyond program, for her work teaching Irish dance at a public school in the Bronx.

Duggan runs the popular after school Irish dance program ‘The Keltic Dreams’ who have performed for President Obama in The White House and Ireland.

“The kids here are African American, they’re Latino and Indian,” Duggan told IrishCentral.

Duggan and the Keltic Dreams will be featured on a 30 minute Above & Beyond special program on ABC Channel 7 on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 7:00PM.

A native of Crumlin in Dublin, Duggan moved to the U.S. in 2002 to begin working as a teacher after graduating from Trinity College. Soon after she began working at P.S. 59 in the Bronx, students became intrigued by her Irish accent.

"One day a child raised her hand and said, 'Why do you speak funny?'" Duggan recalls. 

Inspired by her student’s curiosity, Duggan began telling them about her home country before teaching them some simple Irish dance steps.

“I couldn’t believe how quickly they picked it up,” Duggan says. Her students' interest in Irish dance would soon evolve into an after-school program called the Keltic Dreams.

As well as working full-time as a music teacher, Duggan runs the after school program where students aged 7-12 practice at least three times a week.

Since their first performance in 2003, the Bronx Irish dancing group have performed for President Obama in the White House and the President of Ireland as well as being featured on CBS Evening News with Katie Couric and the New York Times.

"The message for the children is to dream big. There's nothing out there that's impossible," Duggan told ABC.

For over two decades, WABC-TV has honored amazing tri-state area students, teachers, administrators and programs whose accomplishments go above and beyond the classroom. From creating innovative programs to projects that reach across communities, these honorees have made their contributions count in our world.

To catch Caroline and the Keltic Dreams tune into ABC Channel 7 on Saturday, June 23, 2012 at 7:00PM.

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