Six USC Gympie students have been awarded a special scholarship to support their transition to an undergraduate degree.
Former Zesty Edibles chef Kirstyn Owens is among the students who have each received a Gympie and District Community Bank/USC Tertiary Preparation Program (TPP) Scholarship, valued at $2,000, after excelling in the university’s free bridging course.
For Kirstyn, completing TPP in second semester last year was the first step towards pursuing a new career in paramedicine.
She decided it was “time for a change” after experiencing difficult shutdowns and cancellations from COVID-19 restrictions at the popular Gympie restaurant she was running with partner George Isaac from Gunabul Homestead.
“Being a paramedic was something I had always wanted to do before becoming a chef, so I thought there is no time like now to give it a go,” said Kirstyn, who has worked for more than 20 years as a qualified chef throughout Queensland and the United States.
“It had been a long time since I had studied – I completed Year 12 at Gympie High in 1993 – so I took advantage of the opportunity to first enrol in USC’s bridging course,” she said.
“TPP can be tailored to suit the degree you plan to study, so I included subjects in chemistry and biology which were valuable preparation for transitioning this year into USC’s Bachelor of Paramedic Science,” she said.
“I would like to thank the Gympie and District Community Bank for this scholarship, which is a lovely recognition of my achievements and a welcome contribution towards the cost of purchasing text books and uniforms for placements.”
The other successful scholarship recipients were Ardyn Collins, Faith Allcock-Webber, Stephanie Downman, Desiree O’Toole and Rachel Astill.
Rachel has begun a Bachelor of Social Work after completing TPP, while the other students have all commenced Nursing Science degrees at USC’s Gympie and Sunshine Coast campuses.
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