"Without the help I have got, I could be there too. I never want to end up like that. I want to get a job and look after my sisters."
Dave is a 19 year old young man from Neilstown and a shining example of the life-changing effect IYF supported projects can have on the lives of young people. He is currently studying Sports Health and Fitness in Inchicore and his future looks bright, but it didn't always look that way. A few summers ago Dave was hanging out with the wrong crowd, many of whom were serious offenders.
Fortunately, he started going to a local youth project and here he began his life-changing journey. His entire attitude and outlook changed. He learned how and why to say no to drugs and crime. He stopped hanging out with old friends who were into drug dealing, and instead went to the youth club in the evenings. As part of the programme Dave visited a Young Offenders Centre to play football. It stood out in his mind because they were young men like him locked up in prison.
Dave now spends many evenings as a volunteer in the local youth centre helping young people facing the same difficulties he encountered when he was growing up. Paddy Mills, the coordinator of The Garda Diversion Project in Ronanstown and the Youth Centre Manager is very proud of Dave's achievements over the last few years. "Not only has he qualified as a swimming and soccer coach, but he is a natural leader and an inspiration to all the young people at the IYF Youth Café, where he volunteers."
There are many more heroes just like Dave who, because of their involvement in our projects, rise above the adversity of their childhood and go on to live their dreams.