Declan McElhone has big plans of breaking down barriers for Indigenous people in the health care system when he finishes school - following in his grandmother's footsteps.
In the meantime, the 15-year-old Katherine High School student is winning local awards, building skills and earning prestigious nominations.
Off the back of winning the Naidoc young Indigenous achiever award in 2019, Mr McElhone is in the running for a Northern Territory Young Achiever Award.
He's up for the Genesee and Wyoming Australia Indigenous Achievement Award - which highlights passionate and dedicated young Indigenous people and strong role models who are making a difference.
For the past year, he has juggled school and a Certificate II in Business as part of a traineeship at NT Friendship and Support, an organisation supporting individuals and families living with a disability, seniors, and delivering out of home care for children.
Two days one week, three days the next, he heads to the office where he works as an administration officer.
The role includes extra assignments on top of an already hectic school workload.
"There are a lot of finance related tasks, I am learning new things all the time, which is building my knowledge and experience towards securing similar roles in the future.
"I believe, as a young Indigenous person, I can be a role model for other young people coming up in the workforce and education system, that if you put your mind and efforts into a task you can achieve anything."
I want to inspire other people - not just Indigenous people.Declan McElhone
Casey McElhone, Declan's mother, says it is the challenges he has overcome over the past couple of years which makes the nomination markedly special.
"There have been challenges over the past couple of years and he's come a long way. He is a different kid," she said.
"He overcame fitting into school, being shy, he was trying to find his place. I see so much potential. I always thought my kids would do great and he is proving me right."
Nominated by CEO of NT Friendship and Support, Stephanie Ransome, the young achiever is described as a hard worker with a can-do attitude.
"When I think about Declan on his first day of work, he was so insecure, to today where he shows so much confidence, I am so proud," Mrs Ransome said.
"When he came on board he had no confidence in his ability, he was one of our first traineeship students and he worked really hard.
"He has set the bar really high."
Mrs Ransome said the traineeship provides young people with a sense of opportunity for the future and opens doors wide open.
"These opportunities show young people what is out there for the future, challenges them and shows them people care."
Judging of the award starts on Wednesday February 12, 2020.
Finalists will be presented and winners announced at an Awards Gala Presentation Dinner on Friday, April 17, 2020.
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