Sam Downey of Milltown and JJs Foróige has taken his last steps towards his NUIG graduation.
A member of both clubs, he has been on a three year adventure towards his graduation in October 2018.
Each year Sam has completed the week long leadership training hosted in NUI Maynooth along with 300 young people from across the country with up to 50 international guests each year.
For his final module Sam contacted the Foróige Development Officer to begin his self-guided leadership journey and reflection.
Thanks to the support of JJs club leader, Roisin Malone, Sam began to integrate himself into the JJs Foróige club. The plan was simply to help raise money for the bus the members wanted and gain the experience of leadership.
However the leadership journey that Sam undertook has left an indelible mark on him and the members of JJs Foróige.
“I had started this course as a way to get my qualification, but I learned more about my leadership style which I have found to be compassionate and attentive. Working with members and young people who are non-verbal requires patience and time which I have worked very hard to improve over the year," said Sam.
Sam’s body of work has consisted of over 20 hours of community involvement and participation but also a large part of reflection where he was asked to discuss what impact he felt he had on his community and those around him.
His mum, Catherine said she is incredibly proud of her son and the time he has put into his leadership journey.
“I can see a real difference in Sam and his level of patience and understanding of others," she said.
A number of successful Foróige NUIG graduates will be attending the graduation ceremony later this year.
"We wish Sam the very best as he awaits his grades from NUIG," said a spokesperson.
For more information on what Foróige could do for you and your community please go to www.foroige.ie or if you or your young person would like to become involved please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for Kildare and Laois Jane on 0867791799 or firstname.lastname@example.org