Springboard Road Show Foundation

Helena Aidoo

Intervention: CoRe

CoRe has made me more assertive. 

Helena grew up feeling marginalised and unwanted because of a challenge with her eyesight. Joining the CoRe Programme gave her back her confidence. She now investigates the future with assurance and a sense of self-worth. She shares how things turned around for her:

My name is Helena Aidoo, and I am a National Service person. I hope that sharing my experiences from the CoRe Programme will affect the lives of others positively.

I grew up with a unique challenge with my eyesight. Back in the day at high school, I was teased a lot by my friends because I happened to be short-sighted. This visual challenge became one of the biggest setbacks of my life.

Of all the discouraging remarks in school, the one that nearly sank me was by one of my teachers. He insinuated that I could not go into certain professions like the military because I was short-sighted. These words scarred me: they limited my vision and the choices I felt ‘allowed’ to make. Any time I had to decision to make, I found myself asking if I was qualified enough. I used to be quite sociable, but the teasing had a negative impact on my self- confidence and social life. I became very reserved and often kept to myself.

Fast forward to 2020. Everyone was hit in one way or the other by the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Personally, my finances were severely impacted, and I had to significantly cut back on my expenditure as anticipated revenue inflows failed to materialise.

I heard about the CoRe Programme from the National Service Secretariat and signed up to the e-learning and the e-counselling modules. My biggest take-away was the essence of networking and relationship building. I enjoyed the other topics but this one impacted me the most because it spoke directly to my situation.

After the session on the value of networking and relationships, I promised myself that I would go back to being the outgoing and bubbly person I used to be. I reckoned that if I did not do that, there would be a delay in achieving my goals in life. I am making the effort to be a more assertive, confident, and connected person. I recently attended a friend’s wedding and made two new friends. It felt like a big achievement.

This is my story, thanks to CoRe.

My resolve is to make a conscious effort to create one-on-one interactions with speakers and resource persons when I attend seminars. I also want to interact more with people in my church and other circles who are on the same career path with me.

Looking back and seeing how far I have come I really appreciate the CoRe Programme for giving me a new outlook on life.