Introducing our 2014 ABCN Scholarship winners

Every year ABCN’s Scholarship Foundation provides scholarships to high potential, high needs students. We are extremely grateful to our very generous donors within the ABCN community – both individuals and corporate entities - whose continuing support allows us to award these scholarships and create a positive impact in the community.

This year we received over 150 applications, all of an extremely high standard, which made it a difficult process selecting winners. We were delighted however, that we were able to increase the number of awards to 14 this year. Significantly, three of these are perpetual scholarships funded by Navitas, Microsoft and Fuji Xerox Australia.  Perpetual scholarships enable ABCN to award scholarships on an ongoing basis and also support the sustainability of the Foundation. And for the first time, we also awarded a Yes4good scholarship that was very generously crowd-funded by Optus employees.

We’d like to acknowledge our 2014 winners - Baadia, Chanleng Reaksmey, Chelzia, Ghada, Jarrod, Jordan, Justin, Mahnoor, Maria Claire, Petra, Rachel, Saeeda, Sophie and Warkaw. Every one of these students has an incredible story to tell and for every one of them, the scholarship will make an enormous difference to their lives.

One of our scholarship winners Justin Whiting, spoke on behalf of all our new scholars at the NSW end of year celebration. In his address he said:

“If the future of our society is youth, and the majority of our youth are disengaged, then what does that say for the future of our society? Why not invest in building a better future?

I want to make a positive difference in people’s lives. I come from an Australian background; however I have grown up in ethnicity all my life living in Western Sydney and have been subject to media stereotypes. I have been told that my education is not worth investing in, that I am detracting from society and that I don’t even have a chance at being successful. According to these stereotypes, I will become a drug dealer, a criminal and live off social welfare and government benefits for the rest of my life. This is all based on the fact that I am an aspiring student in Western Sydney… I want to inspire hope in people’s hearts and [give them the] confidence to pursue their dreams. I want to create opportunities for other people and I want to break down these stereotypical barriers that are plaguing the Western Sydney area and prove to its citizens that they can achieve success.”

Justin’s words echo many of the inspiring scholars and students we meet each year – which is why we’d like to grow the number of scholarships and help more of these exceptional students realise their potential. If you wish to donate to the ABCN Scholarship Foundation, please visit www.abcn.com.au/scholarship-foundation