The significant costs of undertaking tertiary education have been eased for six Yarrabilba students who received scholarships as part of Yarrabilba's 2019 Brighter Futures academic grant program.
The pupils received their awards at a ceremony at the Yarrabilba Sales and Information centre on March 7, sharing scholarship funds totalling $30,000 courtesy of Lendlease and Bendigo Bank's Community Enterprise Enterprise Foundation.
Following the success of the inaugural scholarship round, nominations for this year closed on January 29, with full-time university students eligible for a $5000 grant and those undertaking TAFE courses able to apply for $2000
Eligible applicants were required to be Yarrabilba residents enrolled or accepted into a full-time Australian university or TAFE program.
They also needed to demonstrate strong academic drive, a level of community involvement and be subject to circumstances that may hinder their further study.
Yarrabilba resident since mid-2011 and third-year nursing student at Griffith University's Logan campus Kathleen Jackson was elated to have received such valuable assistance and said a huge burden had been somewhat relieved.
"Scholarships are very hard to get and I feel very privileged," she said.
"It is a fantastic program.
"It is amazing that Yarabilba, Lendlease and Bendigo Bank offer such a wonderful opportunity to people like myself."
Ms Jackson said the $5000 would assist her greatly to cover the costs of materials, equipment, textbooks, parking, petrol, uniforms and tutoring.
She said she entered the nursing profession because she wanted to help people and was feeling unsatisfied in her previous roles as she felt she was not making a meaningful contribution to society.
"I wanted to be in a field where I could help people and make a difference," she said.
"In my prior jobs I was coming home exhausted, and I didn't have a problem with being exhausted but I had a problem with feeling like I had not done anything worthwhile."
Ms Jackson said she has loved every second of her time living at Yarrabilba and at the culmination of her degree she hoped to land a graduate position at Logan Hospital in order to repay the community's faith.
"The community has done a lot for me, so I want to give back," she said.
"I was one of the first to move into the estate, and to watch it grow has just been amazing.
"It is a very diverse and supportive community."
Lendlease Communities general manager for Queensland, Guy Gibson, said the academic grant program offered a lifeline to students, assisting with study-related expenses and allowing them to pursue their career ambitions by removing some of the financial barriers to tertiary study.
He said a total of $55,000 had now been awarded to Yarrabilba residents to support students across a variety of fields, including nursing, physiotherapy, exercise science and social work.
“On completion of this academic grant round, a total of $55,000 in scholarship funds will have been awarded to the Yarrabilba community, already supporting students in areas including nursing, physiotherapy, exercise science and social work," he said
Ms Jackson said she encouraged anyone studying at TAFE or university to keep their eyes and ears open for details of next round of the Brighter Futures program.
She said the application process involved providing personal information and answering four to five essay questions explaining why you were in need of the grant and how it would benefit you, as well as your general circumstances, past community service and any achievements.
For more information, visit https://cia.communityenterprisefoundation.com.au/Program/Index/2