Scholarship for a rising young star
ALANNA Weis's dream of helping disadvantaged pre-schoolers just got easier to achieve after receiving the inaugural Lord Taverners scholarship at Southern Cross University's Lismore campus yesterday.
The 18-year-old early childhood student, who travels to university from Yorklea, south of Casino, said a massive sense of relief swept over her when she was told she would receive the scholarship.
"I didn't know what to say to the lady on the phone when she called me in the first week of Feb- ruary; I was quite shocked," she said.
Now she will receive $5000 a year during her three-year degree, for Alanna, balancing part time work with study won't be an issue.
"Paying my uni fees would have been a struggle, but now that I have received the scholarship I will be able to focus on my degree."
One of 151 students to be awarded a Rising Star Scholarship across SCU's three campuses, the Casino High graduate said the financial assistance inspired her to achieve her goal.
After working with underprivileged and disabled pre-schoolers aged two to five during her Year 10 work experience, Alanna said she changed her mind from studying nutrition to early childhood.
"I didn't realise there were so many children with special needs who need so much help."
Lord Taverners Northern NSW chairman Stan Gilchrist said Alanna fitted the scholarship criteria perfectly.
"She is disadvantaged by her geographical location, living on a rural property 20 minutes outside of Casino and travelling an hour each way to get to university," Mr Gilchrist said.
"More importantly, she is committed to working with disabled and disadvantaged children."
Vice Chancellor Professor Peter Lee said he was pleased the University's scholarship program continued to receive support from donors.
"These scholarships would not be possible without the generosity of individuals, organisations and charities across the Univer- sity's footprint.
The 151 scholarship recipients will share in more than $460,000 worth of scholarships valued at between $500 and $12,000.