Daliya El Helou is a 2019 graduate of The Helmsman Project and is now a Youth Ambassador of The Helmsman Project. Daliya had no idea the level of impact The Helmsman Project would truly have on her but with her enthusiasm, optimism and diligence, she approached the program with an open mind and as an opportunity to learn essential life skills that will help her personal growth and development.
“I was born and raised here in Sydney, but my heritage is Middle Eastern and African as my father is an immigrant from Lebanon and grandfather from Ghana. Through experiences of my own as well as my family's, I have learnt many life lessons which have helped establish strong values and beliefs that I hope to carry on to future generations. The way I treat and respect family and the way I carry myself in public, is just a small reflection of the morals and values that are a big part of my life.”
At the young age of five, Daliya along with her parents had to overcome the challenge of having their youngest family member navigate a severe health condition. Daliya’s younger brother required immediate surgery after birth and many more afterwards to regain his health.
Despite this being the most challenging battle for Daliya and her family, by witnessing the strength of mother and father to support the family Daliya learnt that "despite hardship, which we all will experience in our lives, it is so important to remain optimistic in order to overcome any challenge.” After participating in The Helmsman Project Daliya also felt she had "become more responsive to my younger brother and more patient with him. I understand his perspective better now and I’m more encouraging with him."
Through The Helmsman Project Daliya gained a further perspective and understanding “that even when we find ourselves in situations that are scary or out of our depths, it is important to persist because you never really know what you are capable of until you set your mind on achieving something. Now, I understand that participating in new and often scary situations is the best way to build self-confidence, resilience, perseverance and personal excellence.”
Daliya’s growth and development as a result of her experiences on The Helmsman Project have been noticed by her family. Her mother was proud to see Daliya gain new skills, new experiences, and develop her personal morals and values.
“It has always been important to me for my children to not only care about themselves but to care about others. A lot of the things she learnt from The Helmsman Project were things that I have tried to teach her but learning them in a different way strengthened those lessons.”
Daliya’s story of her experience on the program is filled with self-improvement and development. "I don’t rely on my mum as much. I’m more independent, more understanding and respectful of our mother/daughter relationship." It is gratifying to see the impact The Helmsman Project is having on young people and their families, and how the important life experiences and skills learnt help them to unlock their perspectives and achieve personal excellence.