23 May 2022

Laois teens graduate Foróige GAA leadership program at Galway university

Laois teens graduate Foróige GAA leadership program at Galway university

Back: Jack Ahern, Darragh Walker, Jack Keyes, David J. O'Brien. Middle: Shanon Troy, Anna Wilkes, Mark Carroll, Isabel Duff. Front: Róisín Lindsay, Lucy Leno, Hannah O'Mahony, Mary O'Brien

Twelve teens from Clonad GAA Club in Laois have gained a qualification to help them become future leaders.

The dozen graduated from the Dermot Earley Youth Leadership Initiative, awarded with a Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action in the National University of Galway last Saturday, April 2.

They are; Jack Ahern, Darragh Walker, Jack Keyes, David J. O'Brien, Shanon Troy, Anna Wilkes, Mark Carroll, Isabel Duff, Róisín Lindsay, Lucy Leno, Hannah O'Mahony and Mary O'Brien. 

The programme is a partnership between Foróige and the GAA and accredited by NUIG. It is open to young adults aged 15-18. It aims to enable participants to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence, and action plans to become effective leaders.

315 young people graduated from the North and South of Ireland on the day.

Some of the projects undertaken involved spearheading campaigns to raise awareness for issues such as climate change, mental health and equality. Others brought their communities together by organising events and social gatherings.

Bryan Gavin is Senior Youth Officer with responsibility for the Leadership for Life Programme. 

"Today's graduation is even more special for these young people and their families, as they completed much of  the programme during the Covid-19 lockdowns. Many of them had to complete the programme online and change their original ideas for their projects. Receiving their qualification today is a testament to the commitment and resilience of the young people we work with in Foróige. They should all be so proud of what they have achieved"

Seán Campbell is CEO of Foróige. 

“The Leadership for Life Programme is an opportunity for young people to harness their leadership skills in a way that can be life changing. They learn critical thinking, problem solving, empathy, resilience, self-reflection, teamwork and great communication skills in a safe, supportive and fun environment. 

“Every year we witness the remarkable difference this programme makes to young people and communities right across Ireland. Foróige is immensely proud of the Leadership for Life Programme, of the volunteers, staff and partners who deliver it and of our ground-breaking  partnership with NUI Galway.  But today is all about the graduates and I congratulate each and every one of you for your immense achievement - I can’t wait to see where your leadership journey takes you from here.” Mr. Campbell said.


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