Young people virtually take part in youth leadership conference

Out of some 130 teenagers from the USA, Azerbaijan, Northern Ireland and Ireland who gathering virtually online for Foróige’s Leadership for Life Youth Conference this past week, 25 hailed from Mayo and a further five from Sligo.

The conference, which was launched on Monday last via Zoom, brought together teenagers to learn how to become leaders in their own lives. During the week-long conference, the teens learned crucial life skills such as empathy, decision making, communication skills, critical thinking and team-work.

Seán Campbell, CEO of Foróige, commented: “Now more than ever before young people are stepping up and leading the way. The Leadership for Life programme enables young people to develop the skills, inspiration, vision, confidence and action plans to be effective leaders.

“Youth activism and community involvement is central to the programme, and I’m thrilled to see this enthusiasm alive in so many of the young people involved.

“This year’s conference was unlike any other year, and I am in awe of the determination and commitment of the young people participating in the programme. They are the dreamers, doers and change-makers who will make our communities and our country better and brighter.”

The 130 delegates, aged from 15 to 18, graduated from a module of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme yesterday (Friday). Graduates will also have the unique opportunity to continue their leadership development journey by completing the three-module programme and receive a university recognised qualification in youth leadership and community action from NUI Galway.

As part of the week-long conference, the delegates met with inspirational guest speakers such as Keith Barry and Senator Lynn Ruane.

The Foróige Leadership for Life programme was developed in Ireland in 2009. Delegates attending have been nominated by youth workers and volunteer leaders from their own countries because they have demonstrated an innate sense of justice, determination, passion and ability to lead and make positive changes in their own communities.

Pictured above, participants on Foróige’s Leadership for Life Youth Conference 2020. The conference took place virtually this year, with 25 participants from Mayo out of 130 teenagers in total. Photo: Mark Maxwell

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