27 June 2019
A 49-year-old disability support worker who began university with her daughter is among several USC Fraser Coast students discovering the difference a scholarship can make.
Michelle Coop has been awarded a Thompson Study Support Scholarship, valued at $10,000, to assist with tuition and others costs as she completes a Bachelor of Nursing Science at USC’s campus in Hervey Bay.
“It’s a challenge but I’m enjoying it,” said Ms Coop who initially enrolled to encourage her daughter to go to university.
“She asked that if she was to study, would I do it with her. I didn’t agree straight away as I’m not young – then I decided I needed a career change,” she said.
“My daughter decided not to continue but here I am at university. Nursing was something I have always wanted do, but I didn’t have the confidence when I was younger.”
The Thomson Study Support Scholarship is designed to assist students in financial need, or where paid work and other commitments impact on their study time.
“I’m very dedicated and have had to cut my workload down to concentrate on my degree,” said Ms Coop, who juggles full-time study with work in the disability sector.
“The scholarship certainly helps to ease financial pressure and assists with buying textbooks and other necessities for my studies,” she said.
Lisa Weldon, 27, from Dunmora near Maryborough, is studying Nursing Science, while 18-year old Faith Polizzi began a Bachelor of Primary Education this year after completing Year 12 at Urangan State High School.
Faith said the scholarship would benefit her university experience and help cover the cost of text books, supplies and travel for practical placements in regional schools.
She said becoming a teacher had been her career goal since an early age.
“Ever since I was in primary school I have always looked at the teachers as role models. It is just something about seeing young children learn that really makes me happy.”
About 20 Fraser Coast students were recently awarded annual scholarships, bursaries and prizes, totalling more than $70,000. Many were awarded to academic high performers while others were based on financial need.
Details on available scholarships, USC study programs and how to apply can be found here.