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Meet the Team

Our Creative Dream Team is a multifaceted group of professionals across recognized industries, spanning the literary world, fashion, music, film, animation, acting, producing and more. 

Christy Cashman Founder of YouthINK

Christy Cashman

Founder & Mentor

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Christy Cashman is an author, actress, and producer who has appeared in more than twenty films, including American Hustle, Joy, The Women, Ted 2, and The Forger, and whose screenwriting credits include The Love Guide and Dixie Storms. An active member of the Boston community and beyond, she is on the board of directors for the Associates of the Boston Public Library and co-chairs its Literary Lights dinner committee. Christy also serves on the board of the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company and supports the nonprofit Raising A Reader.

Her first novel, The Truth About Horses, which was published in August 2023, has earned early praise in the literary world and admiration from the equestrian community. Christy is also the author of two children’s books, The Not-So-Average Monkey of Kilkea Castle and Petri’s Next Things, inspired by the true story of a heroic monkey who lived at that historic Irish castle.

Christy, her husband, and their two sons, Jay Michael and Quinn, live in Boston and spend time in Ireland and on Cape Cod. Christy has three dogs and three horses and is an avid equestrian, riding both stateside and internationally, all year long. 

She is currently working on her second novel, Beulah, and her third children’s book, The Cat Named Peanut Shrimp Cookie Fry Muffin Who Lives on Staniel Cay.

Padraig J Dunne Creative Director of YouthINK

Pádraig J Dunne

Creative Director

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As one of the creative forces behind YouthINK since its inception, Pádraig comes from a background in creative arts, academia and clinical mental health, achieving a Master's Degree in Dramatherapy and a BSc (Hons) in Mental Health Nursing from Trinity College Dublin.  He balances a very busy clinical, academic, and creative arts career. Specialising in drama therapy clinical practice, performance, directing, writing and production design. He has an extensive portfolio of professional work including, film, TV, theatre, music lyrics, community theatre projects, corporate and producing music videos and still photography shoots.


He is married to Claire and has 4 children and is very active in the community working in creative arts. Padraig also paints to express himself and has developed a significant portfolio of art. 

Mary O'Connor Creative Director of YouthINK

Mary O'Connor

Creative Director

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Dr. Mary O'Connor is an advocate for youth from Kildare Town, she has been a Board member of the Hive Kildare Town Youth Hub since 2015 and has been actively involved in the development of the YouthINK Creative Arts Programme since its inception.  An ecologist by profession she is also committed to fostering an awareness and appreciation of nature in young people.  She is dedicated to helping young people reach their potential and strongly believes in the unique creative talent of every young person.

Mentors & Facilitators

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