Aboriginal teen following her dream

5 July 2016

Royal Life Saving Society WA has some wonderful opportunities each year to make an impact on the lives of young people in our state. One of those opportunities has recently arisen with a lovely young indigenous lady called Jessica Nelson.

Jessica has suffered from depression since the age of 13 having come through a troubled childhood. This year Jessica, who is a Year 12 student at Kiara College, decided to do something positive to change her future by taking on the Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.

She is being overseen by Royal Life Saving Society WA’s VET training team, working through SMYL to complete her host employment through Beechboro Primary School.Jessica Nelson

Jessica has not only worked hard to complete her Certificate III, but has also recently been offered a scholarship to play basketball in the United States.

Her dream is to be a sports teacher or play in the WNBA, and she completed against 1000 other keen basketballers through the WABL to try out for the scholarship. Of these 30 were selected for an interview, and the final 15 were selected to be offered a scholarship. Jessica’s final hurdle is to pass her exams in August and graduate from school.

Jessica, who comes from an indigenous background and is from the Naji Naji tribe, is keen to inspire other indigenous youth suffering from depression to see that they can achieve their dreams. She says she was inspired by her brother to come as far as she has; “My brother told me you can do anything in life you just have to put your mind to it.”

She already works hard to be a positive influence on others, volunteering her time to lead dance workshops teaching traditional indigenous dance to children in schools and child care centres, and also to adults.

Royal Life Saving Society WA wishes Jessica all the best as she completes her Certificate III and her high school education, and we look forward to hearing of her successes as she chases her dream of become a WNBA star!

Royal Life Saving would like to thank SMYL and Beechboro Primary School for their support in assisting Jessica to achieve her dreams.