Family and Community Services Minister Gabrielle Upton has praised the sixty four winners of a new scholarship program will provide students in public housing with up to $5,000 to help them attain their goal of going to university or TAFE.
The Grants for Graduation scholarships is an initiative of the NSW Government which will be delivered in partnership with The Smith Family.
“This is a great recognition for some of the talented, hard-working young people out there with the drive and ambition to rise above their economic circumstances,” Ms Upton said.
“A degree or a trade certificate offers the opportunity to reach for goals in life that seemed previously out of reach.
“Crucially, for those from low-economic backgrounds, education is a chance to break away from a life of perpetual disadvantage.
“Grants for Graduation will not be limited to simply giving students a financial boost to help cover the costs of text books and materials.
“The program will also provide mentoring support, something that will help them make the most of their educational opportunities.”
The Department of Family and Community Services will partner with The Smith Family, who will manage the program. The Smith Family is a national independent charity that creates opportunities for young Australians in need by providing long-term support for their participation in education.
“As a charity working with thousands of disadvantaged young people and their families, we know from experience that a person’s financial circumstances continues to impact heavily on educational achievement,” said Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family.
“We share the government’s commitment to assist young people in social housing create better futures for themselves through education, and we are delighted to administer the Grants for Graduation program to fifty recipients across New South Wales.”
The Grants for Graduation program will support sixty-four students in its first year.
The courses that the scholarship winners will study include Teaching, Nursing, Business Studies, Criminology, Social Work, Computer Science, and Indigenous Community Management.
“The NSW Government will deliver the funding that will give these students better educational opportunities and The Smith Family will provide valuable mentoring and guidance,” Minister Upton said.
“But ultimate success will come down to the students’ own hard work and perseverance.
“I have every confidence that their drive to succeed will carry over to their studies and that they will make their families and their community – and themselves – proud.”