Straight from the Illawarra Mercury.
An Albion Park teenager is proud to have helped launch a new national clothing label and can't wait to see people wearing her design.
Rideika Wright, 16, took part in the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience and was invited along with 21 others to participate in a paid internship, with her artwork featured on AIME Apparel T-shirts.
The square graphic features a lizard to represent the year 10 student, as well as showing four "communities" in each corner to depict the different places she has lived - Walgett, Newcastle, Batemans Bay and Wollongong.
"All of the communities are connected, which is really important to me because I don't want to lose my family," she said. "I feel proud of who I am and where I came from."
The teenager said she was now excelling in her schoolwork and encouraged others to be part of the initiative.
"It makes you realise you can achieve whatever you set your mind to," Rideika said.
"Some people are in rough spots right now and getting in trouble with school, and alcohol and drugs. The mentoring experience puts you on the right track.
"[The program taught] us what we need to do to succeed and they believed in us. They helped to boost our confidence ... and our schooling, so if we were struggling, they check up on us.
"Somehow they knew my mum had passed not long ago and they were there to support me."
Money raised from the new clothing range will go back into the organisation, with a goal of helping 10,000 kids nationally by 2018.AIME was founded nine years ago and has since changed the lives of thousands of Indigenous students around Australia.
For more information on the program or the apparel, visit aimementoring.com.