Hamilton teenager Courtney Fox has been earmarked as the next 'it' girl for production company Front Row Pony, after a rough life in foster care.

Courtney, 17, plans to kick off her modelling career professionally once she turns 18.

An inspirational teen, Courtney emancipated herself from the state at age 16, to start her life away from foster care after her parents ended up in prison. "If you're in state care, you have to stay in foster care, not of your choice, until you are 17. I wanted to move out, be independent. I had already been working, I was ready for it."

Courtney had wanted to model since a young age, but said she doesn't have an end goal yet. "I don't really see an 'end' at this point, I'm only 17, why think about the end?"

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She said there is no time like the present, and has been busy working with different local brands - Third Sister, Brutalities, and now Front Row Pony - to build a portfolio before she seeks professional work.

When Courtney talks about her background she has a 'tomorrow is a new day' attitude and though tough, she said it could have been worse and keeps her outlook on life positive.

"I have never had a day I'm not motivated to do it. Every day is a step, whether I am going out to do a shoot or not, you're still getting closer to your goals. I don't find I am unmotivated. You have to do it, you can't expect things to just fall into your lap. You have to work hard. I don't see any reason I shouldn't be able to, as long as I work hard and I make progress, I don't see any reason why I can't do what I want."

Her advice to other girls who have been through a rough time is tomorrow is another chance. "There is always tomorrow".

Her goal for this time next year is for life to be "completely different" and will be looking to sign with an agency when she turns 18 in January.

"[Last year] I wasn't acting myself. My mum had just gone into prison and my dad was getting out, and I was emancipating myself, I separated myself from that and came into my own, with a bit more of a positive outlook on life now.

"[Then] when I realised I had a couple of months till I turn 18, I decided this was the time to do it. It wasn't until I grew into myself, girls are insecure before that. I thought once I was out of high school, this is me, I can do this."

As part of her transformation into the person she is happy being, she has gone from dyed dark brunette hair back to her natural hair colour.

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"I'm naturally a blonde, the reason I was dying my hair dark was because I was gang bashed. My friends knew the girls and ask why they'd done it. They said because I was white and blonde, so I changed my hair colour so I'd stop being beaten up.

"Changing back to my natural hair colour is a representation of who I have changed into, I was a completely different person. I was very down and out, I was very unhappy with my life, my parents going to prison. By the time I'd gone through all that, I decided I was happy with myself and I wanted to go back to my natural self."

Courtney will be in the Wintec Fashion Show, where fashion design students showcase their collections to the public, on November 22 for Front Row Pony - founder Dennis Gedye is a student at Wintec.

Dennis has been working with Courtney to launch her professional career. She said the way Dennis has built his brand up from simply a clothing label, is how she sees her own career. "It is just going to grow, and hopefully together, me and Dennis."

Front Row Pony combines PR, film, music, photography, and graphic design, topped off with a clothing line, and provides the elements needed to create hype around brands and people - such as those like Courtney who are starting out.