Michelle Acheson didn't expect the hand-painted thank you card she received for dancing at Northwest Disability Services' St Patrick's Day celebrations would lead to a project with Max Potential.
The Hills Grammar School year 11 student, 17, planned and executed an exhibition of art by young people with an intellectual disability, from Aberdoon House in Rouse Hill, through the Castle Hill RSL program.
It aims to develop the leadership skills of year 11 students as they are mentored through a community service project of their choice.
"On the back of the card I read that there were some ambitions of one day having their artworks shown in an exhibition," Michelle said.
"I thought that would be a really good thing to do for my community service project.
"We haven't heard much from the artists, they're quite shy, but I think they're happy to see their artworks. When they all came in and saw them hung they were very excited."
The exhibition included paintings, watercolour and ink drawings, photographs and pottery sculptures made by four people from Abberdoon House and opened on Monday.
Michelle said her mentor, Hills children's doctor Annmarie Christie, had helped her through the logistics of the project.
This included how to deal with people as she secured permission from both the service and the school to host the exhibition, and work out how to transport, curate and hang the artworks.
"The program helps students to do things on their own and take responsibility for everything they do," she said.
"For me it has boosted my confidence more in terms of going for the likes of school captain.
"It has definitely helped me step out and see how I can help someone else."
Read about some of the other max potential projects here.