DILLON Cotter, a student who’s studying theoretical physics in Trinity College Dublin after achieving 601 points in his leaving cert at St Mary’s CBS, Carlow, has just been awarded a scholarship worth €20,000.
Dillon received the award from the Naughton Foundation in recognition of his outstanding academic prowess as well as his contribution to school life in general. Hailing from Carlow town, Dillon is the son of William and Mary Cotter and is the eldest of seven children.
“Dillon had a plan of what he wanted to do and he stuck with it. Anything he tries to do, he gets really involved in and works really, really hard at it. He’s a great kid and we’re really proud of him. He was still shocked that he won the scholarship, but it’ll be a great help,” his mother Mary told The Nationalist.
Dillon is one of those all-rounder students who seem to have the magic touch in whatever he turns his hand to. Apart from scoring an amazing 601 points in his leaving cert, he was on the Irish language debating team that reached the all-Ireland finals while studying for his leaving cert. He also won the CBS X Factor competition two years ago after his father showed him some basic chords on the guitar. After covering the basics, Dillon threw himself into learning more and so taught himself guitar through watching YouTube videos. And when he was a little too old to play for the school’s football team the year they won the all-Ireland in 2015, the young sportsman loyally followed the team, even though it may have disrupted his school work.
“Dillon is a very talented young man. He’s a naturally talented student who particularly loves the sciences,” said Joan McKeon, his career guidance teacher. “He was brilliant on the Irish debating team because he could think on his feet very quickly. He also won the school’s X Factor competition after he largely taught himself how to play guitar.
“Dillon has that get-up-and-go thing in him and on a personal level he’s very modest, unassuming and respectful. I don’t think you could pick a better person than Dillon for this award,” Ms McKeon concluded.
Since its establishment in 2008, Naughton Foundation scholarships worth over €4 million have been presented to 175 young people in the fields of science, engineering and technology in publicly-funded third-level institutions in Ireland. A scholarship worth €20,000 is awarded for each participating county, with the exception of Cork and Galway – where two are awarded – and Dublin, which gets four.
Dillon’s former secondary school, St Mary’s CBS, Carlow, was also presented with a prize of €1,000 towards its science facilities.