Looking forward to the future, with confidence.

Sunday October 4th 2015

So this is it. An blog deireanach.

I’m finding it quite hard to believe that this is the end of my year as one of the three Michaela Foundation Scholars. No amount of words, or clichés could begin to help me sum up how humbled I am to have been given this incredible opportunity as I embarked on university life.

 

To sit and reflect on the past year I almost have to pinch myself, a feeling quite similar to that on the 27th October when I received the news from John that I had been awarded one of this years scholarships.

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So how to express just how special being a Michaela Foundation Scholar has been? This exceptional opportunity has allowed me to share my thoughts, beliefs and small insights every month, something that I never would’ve had the chance to do otherwise. I wanted to share the good news of the Michaela Foundation, and how much of an impact it has had, and continues to have on my life. Over the past few months I have shared my journey with the Michaela Foundation, and how truly passionate I am about it’s values and ethos.

I was very aware that going to university, it’s easy to feel small and unimportant in among hundreds, often thousands of people every day. People go out and strive to find their talents or make the most of them to make them that little bit different. I never considered myself to have a talent as such, so I often worried about being quite insignificant among so many talented, confident people. However, the past year changed that for me, because I soon discovered that my niche was my special role within the Michaela Foundation. Michaela wanted to work through me to offer guidance to other young people; she was using me as a small match to shine some light for others. This platform gave me a unique role to inspire the young people of Ireland, something I am so grateful for. Every month I wrote my blogs from “The Harte”, a prospect that allowed my confidence to go from strength from strength. I could openly speak about my faith, the challenges I was facing, and share all the blessings that were coming my way. And for people to actually enjoy them? What an honour!

Despite never having the privilege to meet Michaela herself, I can honestly say with my hand on my heart that I feel such a strong presence of her in my life. I’ll never quite understand how I got so lucky, to be brought to an organisation so uniquely beautiful and special, but I’ve learned that in order for good things to come your way, you must believe that you deserve them.

 

So to the people who made this year what it was;

To my “Scholar Sisters” Sarah and Cora. In true Michaela Foundation fashion I think we deserve a big hand, a round of applause, a pat on the back and a seal of approval! It has been an absolute pleasure to share this platform with you both this year. You are two incredibly special, inspiring young ladies with such bright futures ahead. I am indebted to the Michaela Foundation once again for introducing me to two more friends for life. We have achieved so much this year, and have so much to be proud of.

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It’s no secret that I am a complete homebird so a special shout out to Mummy, Daddy, Oisin, Orlaith, Annie and Nanny. Your endless love, support and guidance has been invaluable this year, especially. No matter how much fun I may have been having up in Belfast, I always looked forward to a Friday evening to come home to you all. The lovely home-comforts may have had something to do with it but it’s those I share them with that makes it all the better. I am blessed beyond measure, thank you for everything.

 

To all my friends, old and new who have journeyed with me this past year, and some a long time before that! Despite the workload and worries, I have enjoyed every second with you all this year. Thank you for the banter and all that comes with it. Beginning university will probably be one of the most daunting milestones of life so far, but it’s not what we have to make it easier, it’s who we have. And a special shout out to the Rugby Av. Crew, Catriona, Aoife, Laura and Clare. If the first few weeks this semester have anything to go on, and we start as we mean to go on, then our year ahead will certainly be a good one! Thank you for your endless friendship, support and love not only this year but from our time in Our Lady’s. Here’s to the teahouse!

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To Una Kelly, thank you for your boundless support, guidance and presence not only this year but since you began your role with the foundation. You’re always at the end of the phone, happy to help and never without a smile. You’re a gem! Thank you for being you!

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To John McAreavey, the Harte Family and all at the Michaela Foundation. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart, for giving this extraordinary opportunity to the young people of Ireland, and for thinking I was deserving of it. There is so much good in the world, and it’s thanks to the work you encourage that this message is flooding through our small country. I am truly blessed to have been given this platform and to work alongside you all for three years now, and hopefully for a long time into the future.

Now, with a heavy heart, I sign off for the final time as one of your Michaela Foundation Scholars of 2014/15 with one final word of wisdom, as Saint John Paul II once said, always remember the past with gratitude, live the present with enthusiasm and look forward to the future with confidence.

So here’s to the future, and all that it may bring, because this is only the beginning.

God bless always,

Caoímhe x