Young South Australians are getting the support they need thanks to the Youth Opportunities scholarships program which, since 2017, has now distributed more than $664,965 worth of scholarships, including full University and TAFE scholarships, to 254 young people across South Australia.
18-year-old Holly of Strathalbyn has overcome significant barriers to achieve her goal of studying for a Bachelor of Education at Flinders University. A goal now within her reach thanks to her being awarded one of three fully funded tertiary scholarships valued at up to $75,000, thanks to the Adam Scott Foundation Youth Opportunities Scholarship.
Since Year 11 Holly has lived independently, after facing challenging circumstances at home. This put a significant amount of extra stress and pressure on Holly as she had to learn to provide for herself, manage money and time, as well as stay on top of her classes and grades. Something Holly says made her mature and grow up quickly but took a toll on her mental health.
Holly attributes her latest achievement to her determination, participation in the Youth Opportunities Personal Leadership Program, and having a strong support network of teachers at her school.
“I am a very persistent person, and I won’t let myself fall behind my personal standards, this is what pushed me through the years when things were challenging for me at home and school. After completing the Youth Opportunities Personal Leadership Program, I was also able to identify the strengths in myself and to be more confident in my abilities,” says Holly.
“I ended up achieving straight A’s in Year 12 and being in the top 10 students for highest results at my school in 2021. A lot of this was because of the support I received from my teachers at the school.”
“I now want to become a secondary teacher as these students are on their way to becoming adults. If I can provide them support from the beginning, I can try to make their schooling years something to remember, instead of the dread that some individuals, including myself, felt at times.”
“Being awarded this scholarship means I will have the financial backup to attend University and become a secondary school teacher, while still being able to reasonably provide for myself and manage to pay all of my expenses – like water, electricity, and food,” says Holly.
The full tertiary scholarship was open to SA high school graduates who have undertaken the Youth Opportunities Personal Leadership Program, are experiencing financial or other hardship and demonstrated a strong commitment to their education.
This is the fourth year that prominent golfer Adam Scott, originally from South Australia, has partnered with Youth Opportunities to offer a full University Scholarship to Personal Leadership Program graduates. And this year, with such a strong group of applicants who all demonstrated significant need, the Foundation made the decision to provide not one but three fully funded tertiary scholarships, with the two additional awards presented to Hayley of Mount Gambier and Bandana of Salisbury, who are both enrolled to study a Bachelor of Primary Education (honours).
Erin Faehrmann, Chief Executive of Youth Opportunities, says Holly was an excellent applicant as she demonstrated her resilience and commitment to achieving her goals despite multiple barriers.
“The selection committee was impressed with Holly’s personal leadership – she demonstrated confidence, resilience, motivation, and commitment to her goals. This scholarship will remove the burden of future debt for her as she focuses on achieving her dream of becoming a secondary school teacher to support others who may go through similar experiences to herself,” said Erin.
Adam Scott Foundation General Manager, Geoff Hall said, “I was very impressed with all the students that we shortlisted this year. They showed maturity and self-confidence well beyond their years, and we congratulate Youth Opportunities on their guidance and the programs they undertake with young people. It certainly is building all their students to be great people.”