An inspirational Buncrana teenager has been recognised as one of Ireland’s best young volunteers.
Adrian McMyler is one of 20 finalists in the 2016 Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards and was presented with a certificate of achievement at a special school assembly at his secondary school, Scoil Mhuire in Buncrana.
The awards are the only all-Ireland youth initiative of its kind which rewards post-primary students for
outstanding acts of volunteerism and the positive contribution they make in their local communities and further afield.
Adrian will now go on to attend a gala ceremony at Lough Eske Castle Hotel and Spa in March at which each student will be presented with €500 and an engraved silver medallion.
Two of the students will be named All-Ireland Youth Volunteers of the Year, receiving €1,000 for a charity of their choice, a gold medallion, a crystal trophy for their school and an all-expense paid trip to the United States in May to participate in the Prudential Spirit of Community Awards ceremony.
At the special assembly, 16-year-old Adrian’s fellow students heard how he was a “kind, generous” and “humble” person who dedicates his time to volunteerism both inside and outside school.
The third year student has been volunteering since he was just seven-years-old and while still at primary schol he implemented the ‘Friend for Life’ project. This was where sixth class students volunteered to take care of children with special needs during morning and lunch breaks.
Adrian’s volunteer activities in and away from school span from co-ordinating stalls at the schools’ ‘Trade Fair Day’ to organising fashion shows to raise school funds. Additionally, Adrian organised a ‘Take a Chance Let’s Dance’ competition which raised funds for the school, co-ordinated a bake sale, raising vital funds for Trocaire and Alzheimer’s and a quiz to raise money for a local nursing home unit.
Over the past four years, he helped to care for his neighbour and is now helping to organise a pageant for Spanish students to raise money for special needs as well as making a CD for Alzheimer’s patients. He also plays an integral role in coaching and training underage teams in Buncrana GAA club and coaching soccer tots on a Saturday morning. Adrian has also raised funds for numerous charities and local groups.
“Adrian volunteers at all times of the week and all year round and he is the epitome of goodness in our young people”, said Rosaleen Grant, Scoil Mhuire’s school principal.
Adrian told the ‘Journal’ he was “delighted” to make the final 20 and encouraged everyone to volunteer.
He said he first began to do so as he wanted to help people but found that he receives just as much ‘good Karma’ back.
“I just love helping people and changing their lives for the better,” he said.
“These inspiring young people from across the island of Ireland are supporting a broad range of charities and organisations through their selfless acts of volunteerism, from working to support mental health to raising funds for cancer research to helping the homeless,” said Caroline Faulkner, senior managing director, Pramerica Systems Ireland.
“The high calibre of entrants is exceptional in the program’s special 10th anniversary year, and we are honoured to recognise Ireland’s youth who are committed to volunteerism. We continue to be inspired by the extraordinary work these future young leaders are doing to make a difference in their local schools, communities and abroad, and they are a benchmark for other young people to strive towards.”
The programme is run in partnership with The National Association of Principals and Deputy Principals (NAPD), The General Teaching Council for Northern Ireland (GTCNI), Scouting Ireland and Foróige.