For a young age, I was the classic problem solver and had the desire to be successful. I remember very early on, when I had the dream to be a chef and own a restaurant called "Wilimendos". I would set the table for my family, and offer to make sandwiches for cash.
Entering secondary school is when my passion for aviation took off, and I fell in love with the atmosphere of the airport. Although I noticed the stress which flying brought travellers, and began my first business, an aviation website called 'Planeapidea,' with the mission to take the stress out of flying.
This is when my entrepreneurial journey began.
As an ambitious young person living in the small community of Collie, Western Australia, I always felt supported. In 2016, I was sponsored to attend the Magic Moments Youth Leadership & Business Summit, by my local community Bendigo Bank.
This was my first event, first conference, first experience in the personal development world. I would never fully understand the true impact this event would have on my future.
I had built Planeapidea into a brand that was trusted and had large influence within the Australian aviation industry. This led to me being invited to a number of media events for major airlines, including Qantas and Singapore airlines.
This is a photo of me on the runway as a 15 year old, surrounded by corporate executives, whilst I was in shorts and a t-shirt.
"Dreams do not have a dress code" Heather Miller
I had just entered year 11, when I read a quote by Karen Lamb, "A year from now you will wish you had started today".
A week later, Youth Leadership Academy Australia was founded, with the mission of building a positively sustainable future through youth empowerment and leadership.
I had the vision of being able to provide all students the opportunity to develop their leadership skills, regardless of their financial position.
Planeapidea became my apprenticeship to entrepreneurship, providing me with the skills I needed to develop the brand of Youth Leadership Academy Australia.
With zero experience in event management, but a huge amount of support, I hosted the first ever YLAA conference at a football club in Perth, with 65 students from six schools. 92% of students left this event feeling more adequately prepared for the future.
Over the next years, I expanded this event on a national scale, and introduced school programs and community engagement programs to the academy.
In late 2020 when the world was being flipped upside down, YLAA had begun to grow on all fronts which posed the question, do I know how to manage a business? And the answer was no.
A few weeks later I was accepted to study my Masters in Business Administration (MBA).
Today, I continue to lead YLAA as the CEO with a team of four, the brand has now positively impacted over 10,000 students from 400+ schools across Australia.
I am on a continuous mission to support anyone who crosses my path in realising their true potential, young or old.