The opportunity to become a Victory Scholar is a dream come true. I think it is safe to say that I could not have gotten to this point in my life on my own. The importance of having support from different people is part of the reason why I wanted to become a Victory Scholar in the first place. There are so many people and parties to thank for getting here so I want to take this opportunity to thank at least a few of them.
Firstly, I want to thank Sport Changes Life and the Rory Foundation for allowing me to become a Victory Scholar. Their generosity and passion for the Irish community is something that I intend to match throughout my time as a scholar. I also want to thank my parents. They have been my biggest supporters throughout my entire life. They have been with me through my ups and downs. I know that I would not be who I am today if it weren’t for them. I also want to thank two of my professors from Guilford College, Betty Kane and Heather Hayton. These two professors are the epitome of what a good mentor should be. They went out of their way time and again to make sure that I was taking full advantage of the opportunities that were presented to me. They encouraged me throughout this entire process and have inspired me to carry their same passion for youth into my own work while I am in Ireland.
While I could go on for days about all the people who I am thankful for, I want to be sure to thank a previous Victory Scholar named Ronnie Thomas. Ronnie is the reason I initially found out about this opportunity. He helped me prepare for what was to come and has continued to support me throughout my journey to this point. I know that I will continue to lean on this support group (and more of you) throughout my experience and I will try to pass on their excellent skills to those that I work with while I am in Northern Ireland. #GoRaibhMaithAgat #Thanks