Eight teenagers from Kilkenny have received certificates in recognition of their efforts to become great leaders.
The teens where among over 100 of their peers from around Ireland who graduated from the Foróige Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life Programme during a conferring ceremony at NUI Galway on Friday night.
The graduates were deemed to have demonstrated a desire to lead from the front and set a good example to their peers through positive decision making and actions.
“A group of us in Kilkenny City started this last year,” said Nicholas Dunphy (16) from Ballycallan.
“I used to be a bit giddy but this course has really made me develop personally. I’ve made some really good friends through the leadership programme and there aren’t too many 16-year-olds who graduate from NUI Galway so it is really great.”
Foroige’s leadership for life programme enables young people to develop new skills like self awareness, communication and team building, and to set goals for themselves to be a force for good in their communities.
“I’m actually so happy now,” said Laura Fennelly (16) from Stoneyford.
“I’ve been able to do things that made a difference in my community and it has made me feel like I belong in my community. The confidence it gives you is incredible because you realise that there is no such thing as impossible.”
Alison Conway (17) from Ballyhale said she had put in a lot of hard work during the year, but was now reaping the rewards.
“When I started this I didn’t know what I’d get out of it but is has given me so much,” she said.
“I can get up now in front of a big crowd and speak no problem. I’m much more assertive than I was.”