24 March 2016
Taking a gap year has proved a valuable experience for former Gympie State High School captain Kelly Goatham who has been awarded a Vice-Chancellor’s Merit Scholarship from the University of the Sunshine Coast.
Kelly, who was co-dux of her school in 2014, said her gap year spent working in retail had reinforced her desire to make her mark in the world of business.
The OP2 student, who excelled at accounting and economics, has enrolled in a dual Bachelor of Business and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of the Sunshine Coast and has started classes at USC Gympie.
“This scholarship of $12,000 will make a massive difference,” Kelly said. “I was working full-time and saving throughout last year, so it will take a large financial burden off my shoulders.
“I believe that the Vice-Chancellor's Merit Scholarship to reward hard work and encourage people to strive for their best is effective and very generous, and I am extremely thankful for this contribution to my studies at USC.”
The keen soccer player who plays in Gympie’s senior women’s league and coaches a junior team said she would put the scholarship towards her study and sporting commitments.
Kelly, who turned 18 last month, has her sights set on becoming the CEO of a major international firm or owning her own business once she graduates.
“I know they are at two opposite ends of the spectrum, but it will depend on what interests me most during my degree,” Kelly said.
“At school I developed a passion for finding the links in business and economic theories and putting them into practice.
“Throughout my gap year I was fortunate enough to gain a deeper understanding of how my employer's business operates, and this has further deepened my love for business.”
Kelly chose to begin first-year courses at USC Gympie so she could live at home, keep working in her current job and continue her keen involvement in the Gympie community.
“I regularly volunteer for yLead as an in-school program volunteer and as a mentor of current Year 12 Leaders from all over Queensland, and it has become a significant part of my life,” said Kelly, who was Gympie State High School’s 2014 Citizen of the Year.
— Clare Mckay