Ex-Offender Receives The National Youth Achievement Award
When the Yellow Ribbon Project Social Media Team first approached the National Youth Achievement Award (NYAA) recipient Helmi about sharing his story, he immediately agreed and said…: “If there is any way my story can help others… I will do it.”
Helmi was only 23 when he was arrested for gang-related offences in 2010. In prison, Helmi had spent a lot of time reflecting and soul searching. After realising that he had made a grave mistake and needed to continue his education, he participated in activities which would in turn boost his confidence. In Tanah Merah Prison, he managed to do well enough to score a place in Republic Polytechnic where he will be taking up a diploma in Biomedical Science.
During the NYAA Award Ceremony last month, Helmi gave a speech in front of the Acting Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, NYAA Chairman Professor Leo Tan, Director of Prisons Mr Soh Wai Wah as well as over 80 NYAA award recipients.
During his speech, he thanked the volunteers for their continued encouragement. He recounted that during his NYAA journey, he had picked up qualities such as optimism, patience and tenacity. “With this mind set, I know that tough times can be overcome if we put our heart and soul to moving forward.”
He recounts his favourite parts of the programme as the sports components as well as the service component where the inmates did charity work for the old folks. He also sets aside money every month to be donated to an old folk’s home at Bukit Batok.
“Hopefully in time to come we would donate to other organisations as well. This will be a stepping stone for me to give back to the society.”
When asked for some words of advice that he has for other ex-offenders, he replied: “Always make the right choices and think positively.