Inaugural winners of the 2013 scholarships

Inaugural Scholarship Foundation Winners, NSWInaugural winners of the 2013 scholarships celebrated their success at various nationwide events this month, hosted in their honour.

Chosen from an overwhelming number of national applications, 12 talented students from disadvantaged backgrounds won scholarships this year. Each winner will receive a mentor from ABCN’s coalition of member companies, and $7000 over Year 11, Year 12 and their first year of tertiary education.

Speaking at one of the celebratory events in Sydney hosted by Macquarie Group, Denise Nyirangabo and Hayley Watt from Queensland, and Sarah Skitt from Western Australia shared the impact that the scholarships will have on their lives.

For Sarah, who aspires to being a zoologist, winning the scholarship gives her confidence that people believe in her. For Denise, who arrived from Zambia only four years ago as a refugee, the scholarship will provide her with some financial relief so that she can focus on her aim of becoming a doctor. She comments “I knew that getting an education was the only thing that would help my family out of the situation we were in. I believe that despite the situation, education is the key to success”.

While the scholarships will assist students with necessities like purchasing school uniforms, books, a laptop and tuition, one of the unique benefits of the ABCN Scholarship Foundation is that students also receive mentoring from a business professional within the ABCN network. Fadila Fadina from Bankstown Girls High School believes that having access to a professional mentor will assist her greatly in her journey to becoming an engineer. She hopes her mentor will help her with setting goals and organising her study plan so she can achieve the high marks she needs to go to university.

Generously funded by the Navitas Education Trust, KPMG, Norton Rose Fulbright, PricewaterhouseCoopers and the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the ABCN Scholarship Foundation is the only organisation of its kind in Australia offering both mentoring, from business professionals, and financial assistance to students. This year’s winners and highly commended have also been generously supported by UBS, Microsoft and Optus who have supplied them with laptops and ipads.

The Scholarship Foundation aims to grow the number of scholarships offered each year to help more talented students realise their potential. If you wish to donate to the Scholarship Foundation please visit: www.abcn.com.au/scholarship-foundation