Twenty-three young people from Kildare joined 250 other teenagers from India, the USA and Ireland in Kildare this week for Foróige’s Leadership for Life Youth Conference.
The conference, takes place throughout this week, from July 30 to today Aug 3, on the grounds of NUI Maynooth, and brings together teenagers to empower them to become leaders in their own lives.
Paul O’Connell gave a talk to the young people, as part of the Aldi guest lecture series, where he highlighted the importance of staying positive.
Paul O’Connell, Aldi Play Rugby Ambassador said “God given talent is a myth, successful people work harder and smarter and that’s how they achieve their goals. It’s really important to keep positive. Don’t let anyone say you can’t do something. You have the capacity to work, train and do anything you put your mind to. It doesn’t matter what it is, stay the course and be the person you want to be.”
Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, said “These young people have come to this conference because someone in their lives saw their potential to lead, grow, develop and influence, whether that was a parent, Foróige youth worker, or teacher.
“Amongst other things, these teens will learn about resilience and perseverance this week, and further develop their ability to believe in themselves. It’s more important than ever for these young people to realise that leadership is not about ego or personal advancement, it’s about showing the way and inspiring those around you to be the best that they can be. The conference offers these young people the fantastic opportunity of exploring their own unique set of leadership skills, whilst encouraging them to believe in their own ability to make real and powerful positive change in the world.”
The 250 delegates, aged 15 to 18, will graduate on Friday morning having completed various stages of the leadership programme.
As part of the week-long conference, the delegates also met inspirational guest speakers Louise Foody, Director of Digital & Brand at Kingspan Group and Maria Walsh, former Rose of Tralee, entrepreneur, and broadcaster.