The radio host, Pete Snodden, talks about how the haters pushed him to keep trying, and why spreading the word about the Thank You Fund is so important to him.
What made you want to be an ambassador for the Thank You Fund this year?
The future of where we live and society as a whole should be all about young people. We have so many groups and organisations that deal with the youth of society and sometimes they get a fair bit of flack. I think a lot of it is uncalled for.
The Thank You Fund gives these groups an opportunity for funding so that they can do the most important thing of all – help develop our young people into the leaders of tomorrow. Giving them the confidence to move forward and integrate into society.
If I can spread the word in any shape or form about getting people from our part of the world to actually apply and make them know the funding is out there to make a difference, it's the least I can do.
Getting the message out there about the Thank You Fund and making sure people are aware of it and giving people the impetus to actually go and just apply for it.
The money is sitting there, if you don't apply for it, you aren't going to get it. But if people don't know about it, they aren't going to apply for it. Then it's fingers crossed that a lot of people get money and they can actually make a difference.
What’s the most important issue facing young people in Ireland today?
Probably getting a job, to be honest. And making the most of the opportunities that are given to them. Or even actually just being aware of the opportunities out there and going and grabbing them with both hands.
This money is all about helping organisations empower the youth of today, giving them the opportunity to actually go out and make something of themselves as well as gaining confidence.
We all have our issues growing up, no matter what background you come from, but organisations that can do good, help people get out of a rut – that's what this is all about, making people realise they have a future in this country and they can make a difference to society.
What’s a good thing for a young person to do to raise their self-esteem and build their confidence?
People do different things and get different attributes from them. Growing up I didn’t always think I could be a broadcaster. At the age of 15 I would have loved to have been doing it, but I never thought I would have the self-confidence or the motivation to get to do it.
I was getting knocked down by people saying 'Ah Snodden wants to be a DJ' and this, that and the other – I was a bit of a laughing stock to a point.
I kept at it, but a lot of young people out there don't have the self-belief to push themselves on. The people who are responsible for youth groups are the ones who can empower young kids.
You know what – if you really want it, you can go and prove the doubters wrong, you can go and do it. That's what young people need – just a helping hand along the way.
I played a lot of sport. Hockey was my sport – I still play now and I’ve played for a number of clubs in my time. And also interacting with people and friendships.
In terms of what I do for a career, it was probably the doubters, the people who picked on me as a kid, the boys in my school, who were like 'you'll never be able to do that, who do you think you are?' Still probably to this day, to a point, that's always the motivation – to prove people wrong.
But it's different for everyone. Hopefully people through these organisations will find the thing that will move them on, motivate them and bring them out of their shell to give them a bit of self-confidence and belief.
What was a moment that changed your life as a young person?
This is going to sound really sad but, in terms of my career, there was a moment that probably changed my life in terms of getting the confidence to go on and do broadcasting.
And it was my summer job working in Pickie Fun Park in Bangor and I had to call the swans (swan-shaped plastic boats) in. Saying 'Number 13, come in now please', and some boy shouting back 'Clear off'. When I go back to that, that summer using the microphone it was probably the moment in time when I thought 'You know what, I can stand up in front of people and I can use a mike'. As sad as that is, that's probably the moment for me.