Two lucky local teenagers were part of a major conference addressed by rugby great Paul O'Connell in Maynooth this week.
Ciara Maxwell and Adam Costelloe, both from St Josephs Foróige Club, Streamstown, rubbed shoulders with former rugby star and a host of other well known personalities at the Foróige Leadership for Life Conference in NUI Maynooth.
Ciara, who attends Moate Community School and Adam, a student of Mercy Secondary School, Kilbeggan, joined 250 other young people from Ireland, India and the USA at the five day conference which concludes today. The leadership programme aims to unite young people and encourage them to become leaders in their own lives.
Former Irish rugby player and Aldi Play Rugby Ambassador Paul O'Connell spoke to the young people attending the conference on Wednesday in accordance with Aldi's guest lecture series and emphasised the importance of being positive throughout life.
He offered some inspiring words of advice for the young students saying: “God given talent is a myth, successful people work harder and smarter and that’s how they achieve their goals... 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”.
The students had the opportunity to meet with many other motivational guest speakers over the course of the five day conference such as Maria Walsh, former Rose of Tralee, entrepreneur, and broadcaster and Louise Foody, Director of Digital & Brand at Kingspan Group.
Foróige CEO, Seán Campbell added: “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. 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 250 Foróige representatives, aged 15 to 18, will graduate this morning after finishing the leadership programme.