Paige Jackson is a Year 11 student at Pymble Ladies College who is one of 30 incredible Art of Smart Future Leaders from across NSW for 2018. 

Our Future Leaders Program is NSW’s premier Career & Leadership program that invests in and supports young leaders in Years 10-12 at high school. The program provides mentoring, rigorous peer learning, skills development, work experience and national connections so young people can effectively answer the big question of “What am I going to do with my life when I finish school?” and develop the key skills they need to make an impact in their communities.


Paige stood out from over 500 applications for her passion and dedication to Competitive Diving while undertaking Year 11!

We recently spoke with Paige about her goals for the future, how she’s pursuing these goals during Year 11 and much more!

When you finish school, what do you want to do?

When I finish school I wish to study at University. I am interested in going to America on a diving scholarship or going to a university somewhere in Australia. I wish to study either a medical degree so that I can pursue sports medicine or I wish to study biomedical engineering.

Either way, I would love to follow a maths or science based path as those are the subjects I am interested in the most. After I finish my University I’d like to go on a gap year in order to see the world and visit unique and beautiful places.

What is your long-term ‘dream big’ goal?

My long-term, dream big goal is to do something that makes not just me truly happy but also makes others lives happier and brighter.

At the moment by long term goal is to pursue medicine or engineering, however my ‘dream big’ goal is that I wish to one day be at the top of my field so that can travel and help as many people as possible!

What has inspired you to pursue this goal?

What inspired me to pursue this goal was my sport, competitive diving, and the injuries that I encountered from them.

At training a few years back I broke my leg. From this experience I spent a lot of time working around doctors and physiotherapists in attempt to get me back on the boards. I struggled to come to terms with my injury and was failing to see the light at the end of the tunnel.

However, It was during this time I uncovered my desire to follow a medical type career, so I can help like all those helped me.

What subjects are you currently taking for your HSC?

The subjects I am currently taking at school right now are Maths Extension 1, Advanced English, Chemistry, Physics, Biology, and PDHPE. My favourite out of these has to be Maths.

I have grown up with a Mum as a Maths teacher and have always enjoyed the concept that in maths it is either right or wrong. Along with this I also find a lot of accomplishment in figuring out hard maths problems and problem solving.

What is the biggest challenge you’re experiencing at school at the moment?

My biggest challenge I am experiencing at the moment at school is balancing my sporting commitments with the work load. Currently I am pretty overwhelmed with assessments and although I’m usually on top of them at the moment I’m struggling to keep up.

I am tackling this by taking everything one step at a time and still giving myself time to relax! 

What is the #1 study tip you’d recommend to other students to implement?

My number one study tip would have to be “do it as soon as you get it”. 

I stand by this tip and ensure to at least start every assessment on the first weekend of receiving it. This way if something comes up in the future you wont have to miss out because you haven’t done your assessments or study.

What extracurricular activities are you currently involved in?

Competitive Diving

What is the extracurricular activity or project you’ve engaged with that you are the most proud of?

I am most proud of my diving not because of my successes, but because of the person I have become due to diving.

Overcoming injuries and facing my fears have shaped who I am today and I am proud of who that person is.

I never thought I would be able to go back to diving after my breaking my leg, due to the severity of the event and the fear it embedded in me. The fact that I have been able to go back and am competing and achieving again is why I am so proud of my diving.

Where do you work and what has your biggest learning from working been?

I am a part time Diving coach, usually just coaching during holidays at Homebush.

My biggest learning from working as a diving coach is that every kid is different and needs a different approach to coaching in order to maximise fun and success.

What is your favourite hobby?

To chill out I like to read books, my all time favourite book being We Were Liars. However i also enjoy shopping and hanging out with friends to have fun.

What is a quote that inspires you?

“I may not be the strongest, I may not be the smartest, but I will be dammed if I am not trying the hardest.”

What does it mean to you to be a future leader?

To me being a Future Leader means building the skills and connections now to become a Leader not just for the present time but for the Future. A future leader to me is a person who helps others in order to better their lives and the world around them.

About Art of Smart and the Future Leaders Program

Art of Smart is a multi-award winning provider of world-class HSC tutoring and inspirational mentoring. Recognising that excelling at school takes more than a focus on the syllabus, over the last 8 years, we have built a reputation for our holistic approach to helping students develop both strong academic foundations and critical study, exam and life skills.

Based on 8+ years of research we’ve conducted with Australia’s top students, we’ve helped over 4,000 students on average achieve mark improvements of 19.41% and help students successfully transition from school to rewarding and challenging studies & careers.