Once I got to Galway, it wasn’t long before I began to meet people who seemingly already knew me. “Oh you’re the victory scholar this year” was a common phrase throughout those first few weeks. In the months that followed, I have been able to see the impact that past scholars made. Little kids will talk to me about past scholars and my teammates will mention how some of the first scholars coached them when they were very young. Some of the other coaches in the club mention weekly the past scholars and how great and impactful they were.
Coaching and volunteering make up a lot of my time in Galway. Although at times after a long day it can seem tedious, I find that taking a step back helps remind me of the real reason I’m here and the impact that I can have. Maybe the little boy struggling to dribble and shoot will fall in love basketball and become a star in the national league. Maybe the girl who seems a bit disinterested will use the lessons at Academy to get through a tough time in her life or accomplish something great. I really don’y know the exact impact I’m having on the kids I’m fortunate enough to work with, but every day I can strive to help them in some way.
Being a Victory Scholar means that you’re part of a select group of motivated individuals who chose to challenge their boundaries and take a journey to help others. Seeing the impact that my class has had so far has been powerful. Thousands of children have been taught about the game of basketball and more importantly life lessons. They’re given an individual who genuinely cares about them and wants them to succeed as both a player and a person. From personal experience I can say that is one of the greatest gifts a child can be handed.
Being a Victory Scholar also means that you’re part of a community. I was fortunate enough to be placed in Galway, where for ten years extraordinary Victory Scholars have worked their magic and made a difference in the community. Their work and dedication is evident every day here. I’ve done my best to continue the great work they’ve started and hopefully impact the youth of Galway along the way. The same phenomenon is also taking place in cities all over Ireland through the Victory Scholar program. Such an impact has already been made and I’m lucky to be a part of it. It’s powerful and uplifting to think about the impact that will be made in the next ten years and I’m excited to follow along.