Young Galway man receives bronze medal in President's Awards

A young Ballinasloe man who demonstrated "incredible tenacity" was presented with a bronze medal from Gaisce, The President's Awards recently.

Enda Brien achieved the much coveted honour, which is earned by young people between 15 and 25 years for participating in several activities for a certain period, for his perseverance in the field of personal development.

He received his award from the CEO of Gaisce, Yvonne McKenna, during a special ceremony at Gullane's Hotel where he also celebrated his graduation from St Teresa's special school. It caters for children from four to 18 years with moderate, severe, and profound needs.

To achieve his Gaisce Award, Enda dedicated additional time to his physiotherapy programme, investigated the accessibility of Ballinasloe town for people using wheelchairs and buggies, and improved his communication skills through his personal iPad.

He also undertook an adventure journey as part of his Gaisce award, embarking on a trip to Garbally College with the support of his President's awards leader Paul Walsh and transition year students at the college. The students provided him with a camping experience and a tour of the college, displaying a sense of community spirit which benefits both schools.

Speaking about Enda's achievements, Yvonne McKenna congratulated him for his dedication to personal development. "By undertaking the Gaisce programme, Enda has demonstrated incredible tenacity and in the process we hope he has made memories to cherish.

"Gaisce would also like to extend its congratulations and praise to Geraldine Deane, the co-ordinator of Gaisce at St Teresa's Special School, Enda's President's award leader Paul Walsh, a teacher at Garbally College, and the transition year students of the college who have demonstrated fantastic camaraderie during Enda's adventure journey."

Anita O'Reilly, the principal of St Teresa's, said its ethos is to support and empower children to reach their full potential. "Enda is one of our students whom we have encouraged to explore all his interests to ensure he reaches his goals. This confident, determined, kind, witty, young man is an inspiration to us all."

Gaisce, The President's Award is a self-development programme for young people between the ages of 15 to 25, which is proven to enhance confidence and wellbeing through participation in personal, physical, community, and team challenges.

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