Published on 14 April 2016
A young Gympie mother who left school at the end of Year 10 is a step closer to her goal of becoming a financial planner with the help of a University of the Sunshine Coast support scheme.
Tara Thompson, who enrolled this semester in a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) at USC Gympie, said USC’s Educational Support for Teenage Mothers Award, known as ESTEEM, had dramatically changed her life.
“There is no way I would be where I am today without the help of this program,” she said.
“It has made me determined to complete my Bachelor of Commerce and get to where I want to be in my life.”
ESTEEM is open to young mothers, aged between 17 and 25, who were unable to finish Year 11 or 12 at school due to pregnancy.
The award provides financial and social support to assist successful candidates complete USC’s award-winning tertiary bridging program, the Tertiary Preparation Pathway (TPP).
“When I heard about ESTEEM, it was the trigger I needed to get back into study last year,” Tara said.
“Having the financial burden taken off me allowed me to focus so much better on completing TPP, and it gave me the motivation I needed to continue my higher education.
“ESTEEM has also helped in a personal sense by giving me a lot more confidence and I am forever thankful.”
Success is following Tara, who was recently awarded a $2,000 scholarship from the Gympie and District Community Bank branch of the Bendigo Bank for her outstanding academic performance in the TPP program.