Paul O’Connell with the delegates at the Foróige Leadership for Life Conference which was held in Maynooth.
Five young people from Longford - Alanna Cassidy, Kelly Ann Prendergast, Ella Monagle, Tara Noonan and Shauna May Gilbride - joined 250 other teenagers from India, the USA and Ireland in Kildare this week for Foróige’s Leadership for Life Youth Conference.
The Conference, took place from July 30 to August 3, 2018 on the grounds of NUI Maynooth, and brought together teenagers to empower them to become leaders in their own lives.
Paul O’Connell, as part of the Aldi guest lecture series, highlighted the importance of staying positive to all those gathered.
“God given talent is a myth, successful people work harder and smarter and that’s how they achieve their goals,” he said.
“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.”
Meanwhile, Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, said that young people attended the event 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,” he concluded.