Mercedes College student to represent Save the Children at United Nations in New York

Year 11 Mercedes College student Danikka Calyon will be travelling to New York in September to attend the 70th United Nations General Assembly, as the national youth ambassador for Save the Children Australia.

Danikka was selected by Save the Children from more than 700 applicants for the national youth ambassador role, after the WA branch sent an application on her behalf.

She began volunteering to work with children at risk after discovering Save the Children’s ‘One Step Closer’ program as a participant in 2013.

About 60 children participate in the program, which provides after-school activities and workshops for children of all ethnicities and ages who face a variety of challenging situations or environments. Activities include sport, cultural and cooking sessions, and talks by guest speakers from a variety of backgrounds and industry.

Danikka progressed from joining the program as a participant to become a mentor, and now works for Save the Children every second Friday after school. Her continuing development as a mentor and commitment to the work have seen her become a positive role model for other children and young people.

Danikka has adapted to the challenges of working with younger children, which she said took some time.

‘I had to get to know them, learn how to communicate and engage with them, and earn their trust’.

Danikka will leave for New York in September to join with other young Save the Children delegates from around the world, to call on the UN to act on issues facing youth in their countries. Before she leaves Australia she will be joining three other state representatives at the National Youth Forum in Canberra. 

Danikka, who is a Noongar member of the Armadale community, is passionate about giving young people a voice, and contributing to positive change in her local area and beyond. She is currently employed by Save the Children as a youth mentor, by the City of Armadale as a coach for the Ignite Basketball youth engagement program, and was recently announced as the AIME Ambassador for Mercedes College. She hopes to continue her work with Save the Children after graduating.