Teen in fight against drug scourge for Anti Ice Campaign
WHEN Nathanial Leigh moved to the Rose City this year he brought with him an insatiable desire to change the lives of others.
Although still a teenager, Nathanial has already racked up an impressive community service record and is now taking on a monster challenge.
Nathanial is helping spearhead the Australian Anti Ice Campaign across the Southern Downs.
The campaign is devoted to educating high school students on the dangers of the damaging drug, with programs specialised to each age group.
"Ice is a growing issue in today's society and we need to educate the nation about the drug and what it does, so we can help reduce the ice epidemic," he said.
"It can be made in backyard homes and people that are addicted are making it to sell, as the money upkeeps their habits. These people are making a lot of money out of poisoning people."
Nathanial said he was inspired to join the anti-ice cause, following a long commitment to homelessness on the Gold Coast.
At 15, the selfless teen developed the idea of a Christmas lunch for the homeless and lonely people of Palm Beach.
"It started from something small to help the Palm Beach people and it led to helping the wider Gold Coast area and now I can help the wider Australia area - I couldn't be prouder of that achievement," he said.
"With the Christmas lunch I saw that it brought cheer and comfort and these people knew they had someone who cared from them.
"They knew there were people in the same boat as them and seeing the smiles on their faces was what kept bringing me back to it again."
His hard work within the community has not gone unrecognised, with Nathanial being named as a finalist in the Pride of Australia Awards.
Although his volunteer work hasn't always been easy, Nathanial urged others with similar passion to follow their dreams.
"My advice is just go out and do it and form something you are proud of," he said.
"Don't let people say you're not good enough to do something you want to do or you don't know what you're doing.
"When I told my parents about my Christmas lunch idea they said I was crazy and I didn't know how to organise something like that. But I did it.
"At a young age I knew there were people less fortunate than myself but I had to get to a suitable age before I could show the world what I could do to help."