A Wee Leap of Faith

Posted By: JennaKaufman
Posted On: November 2nd, 2018
Attending: Ulster University

To start off, I cannot believe I am writing this from Belfast, Northern Ireland. Looking back to when I applied to the Sport Changes Life program last fall, this time seemed so far away in my mind. It probably won’t set in that I am actually here until it’s time to leave in May! For me, coming here was actually not a “wee” leap of faith, but actually a huge leap of faith. I am the youngest of six children, and I am extremely close with all of my siblings and with my parents. I grew up in a very supportive household, and have had the same group of close friends since elementary school, and found a tight circle of friends in college. In other words, I have a pretty solid comfort zone at home. In fact, when I first left for college I was worried about leaving my family and friends 3 hours away. It’s absolutely crazy to think that after four years of tremendous growth, I have now left my family and friends a whole ocean away.

For me, being apart of this program is all about getting out of my comfort zone even more so that I can become the best version of myself. I feel that if I can become the best version of myself, then I can really make a positive impact on the youth of Ireland and help the kids we will be working with become the best versions of themselves too. I am really looking forward to not only teaching the kids what I have to offer, but to really learn from them too. Growing together over the next 10 months, I feel we can really make a significant impact on each other.

Overall, my short time here so far has shown me how much potential this program really has to offer. Over the last few weeks, I have met 33 other Victory Scholars who share the same goals as I do, and who I became really fast friends with. I also had my first few basketball practices and my first scrimmage on our home court with my new team. I even had the opportunity to travel to Dublin with my team for our first tournament, which we won! I am looking forward to getting the season under way with my new squad.

In addition, I’ve gotten the opportunity to do a bit of sight-seeing; I visited Saint George’s Market and the Titanic Museum (highly recommend!!!) in downtown Belfast, as well as Giant’s Causeway on the coast. I also have had training in social media and coaching, participated in a few Ehoops programs, and visited some local schools, nursing homes, and youth groups with the other scholars. The days have been busy but also super fun.

my new home away from home: Belfast

I am finally getting settled in at Ulster University before school begins at the end of September. Overall, I am really looking forward to what is in store for myself and the other scholars this year. I am so thankful for the Sport Changes Life Victory Scholar program and the Rory Foundation for allowing me to even reach this point. Please feel free to follow along my blog (and/or my social media accounts, as well as Sport Changes Life’s accounts) to see where this journey takes us all throughout the year. Cheers!!

sunrise in Jordanstown

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