Two years ago in Foróige, somebody said to me “Live your Dreams” and since then I’ve really tried to do that. Where there are dreams there is hope and something to aspire to.
I’m Séamus Hogan, I’m 18 and from Curraha in County Meath. I LOVE sport and I’m in my first year of college studying Occupational Therapy in Belfast.
Foróige has been a massive part of my ‘teenagehood’! I joined Foróige six years ago because some of my friends were going to it. I had no idea what an impact it would have on me. I’ve been fortunate enough to see the doors Foróige can open. It’s allowed me to soar as an individual and always take opportunities that came my way!
I was elected as Secretary in my second year and Chairperson in my third year. Then I decided to put my name forward to sit on the Foróige Reference Panel to represent Foróige members from my part of the world. I was then voted onto the Foróige National Council where we represent the needs and wishes of young people in Foróige across Ireland. I was one of the first young people to sit in on an interview panel for Foróige staff and in so many ways I’ve also seen how much young people’s voices and opinions are heard and respected by Foróige staff and leaders throughout Ireland.
Something that I came to realise through Foróige is that if you put yourself out there and never let opportunities pass you by, you won’t have anything to regret. Opportunities such as the Albert Schweitzer Leadership for Life (ASLFL) conference have provided me with great leadership skills which I’ll be able to use in all aspects of my life.
I am aware of how much I have to offer, how I can influence and advocate for change and that these experiences and skills developed are not only for now but forever. I want to raise awareness about issues affecting young people today such as stress, bullying, worry, insecurity about the future and the lack of hope many young people feel. I do know, for some strange reason, that I am on the right path and the road seems green so far.
If you’re wondering why you should join Foróige I’ll give you a few reasons. It’s a brilliant place to meet and make new friends, to chill, to organise activities like trips away, to help your community, to develop as a person, to learn new skills and to take opportunities. Are you still not sure? AH GO ON, take the plunge!
Remember... “You miss 100% of the shots you don't take.” - Wayne Gretzky.