Jordyn Colless never signed up to the Learn Earn Legend! School to Work (S2W) program expecting accolades or awards - she just wanted some help with her HSC and preparing for the big decisions that come after finishing high school.


But accolades seem to follow Jordyn around: from colleagues, students, her mentor, and now a nomination for the NRL's One Community 2013 Young Indigenous Learn Earn Legend! Award.


As the Parramatta Eels School to Work trainee and Community Assistant, 18-year-old Jordyn is one of three young Indigenous Australians in line to win this year's honour, which includes a $5000 prize to go towards education expenses.


"I've learned so many things through the program, such as how to talk to people in a business setting, how to network, being professional and starting off work," Jordyn said.


"The program's got me this job and it's been excellent; I'm so glad I was part of it."


Her mentor and supervisor at the Eels, Celeste Bluck, says she couldn't think of anyone more deserving for the award, which recognises the achievements of young Indigenous Australians achieving success in their transition from school to employment. As the Parramatta Eels Aboriginal Project Officer, she has seen Jordyn's progress first hand.


"I always explain Jordyn's situation as she's kind of a home grown kid; she went to school around here, and now works here at the club, and she's had nothing but positive comments about signing up to the program," she said.


"She's the poster girl for the Eels S2W program, because she took everything that was offered to her and has run with it, and now she's on the right path to her goal."


But it wasn't always like this; Jordyn admits when she started the Indigenous School to Work program just over 18 months ago, she knew almost nothing about her own Aboriginal heritage.


"I had no idea about my culture, and now it's got me more eager to find out about my heritage and history," she said.


"Now I've found out I'm from the Yuin people [on the NSW south coast] and I'm proud of that."


Celeste is clearly exceptionally proud of Jordyn - on the brink of happy tears when talking about her success.


"I love making a difference in these kids' lives, and even with Jordyn - just seeing the smiles on their faces when they actually achieve something, that's what I do the job for," she said.


"It's not a conventional office job, it's a lot of hours but you do those things because you're passionate about what you do, and I cry - I literally cry - because I know it means a lot to them."


The biggest shift in Jordyn since finishing the program as a high school student and moving into the workplace is her ability to tell her own story to kids just like her.


"I like [going on school visits and] telling the kids that I've made it into one of these kind of jobs - and they ask all these questions about it," she laughed.


"And I tell them, make sure you're engaged and keep trying to do what you want, and you eventually get there with the help of other people out there."


The NRL's One Community Awards night will be held on September 30, and from everyone at the Parramatta Eels, we wish Jordyn the best of luck!