Published on 16 March 2016
A Moreton Bay Region student has received a prestigious $12,000 Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Caitlyn Heathwood, 17, of Dayboro is studying a combined degree in Secondary Education and Science at USC after gaining an OP4 at Pine Rivers State High School last year.
The aspiring science teacher said she had wanted to study at USC ever since she visited the University’s campus at Sippy Downs on a Year 10 excursion.
“Even then I just loved the feel of USC, and as going to uni grew closer, I honed in on what I actually wanted to study,” Caitlyn said.
“I’ve always been a country person and the USC campus is really open and green. I didn’t want to study in a place full of concrete.
“Receiving the scholarship was a fantastic surprise. It will take away some of the pressure for me while I’m studying and make my university experience a bit more relaxed.”
Caitlyn was vice-president of the student representative council in high school and played netball for the Dayboro Dodgers club, where she also coached an Under 11 team to the grand final.
She said her positive experiences of coaching younger players had led her towards pursuing a career as a high school science teacher.
“When you teach a player a skill and it clicks for them, it’s a really exciting and satisfying moment for both of you,” Caitlyn said.
“I’ve always wanted to show people how cool science is, and I thought a good way to do that was to teach in high school where students can develop an in-depth understanding of the subject.
“I can’t wait to learn about biology at a higher level, and I’m also excited to do my first practical placement in July.”
— Gen Kennedy