Lift Off

Posted By: Dillon Burns
Posted On: August 31st, 2016
Attending: Limerick Institute of Technology

This past week I arrived in the country of Ireland to chase a dream of mine. Although I tend to always refer to my life motto to be “Ball is life”, success on the court is not the only thing I strive to accomplish. The goal of making a difference, changing the lives of others, becoming a better man as I step out of my comfort zone is my destiny. So many people have taken the time out of their own lives to give me this opportunity. It is now my time to do the same and encourage those who have never had the support system I was lucky and blessed enough to grow up with.


As I sat on the plane all the nerves began to kick in. I was traveling 3,000 miles away from home without anyone I truly felt comfortable around. I understood however that this was part of growing up and in order to change the world, I have to first change myself.


This first week I have spent all my time up in Belfast (Northern Ireland) in part of a period of training with the rest of the scholars. At first I was unsure of how I would fare with the different culture and way of life. However, I quickly realized the only way to adjust is by embracing it head on. After seven days, I have learned about so many different things. The different types of foods eaten, how cars drive on different sides of the road (still mind-blown about that), and especially how religious issues have been such a staple in the culture in Northern Ireland.

Without question though my favorite part of this week was working with kids through the BNI camp and EHOOPS. Both of these programs gave me the ability to share my knowledge with younger kids and relate to them in more ways than they imagined. It amazed me how respectful and considerate they were when being coached. A lot of them have the desire to learn and passion to succeed if they continue to be motivated. It is ironic how these kids have taught me more this week than I taught them. That is the reason why I truly enjoy being involved with kids, they constantly give you clarity on what life is truly about.


I head down to Limerick tomorrow in search of a new journey. Thank You to the other scholars for making this week a success, and a big shout out to Belfast for the memories (I’ll be back for sure). Stay tuned for updates of what is next to come.

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