It’s not uncommon for Smithfield resident Mitchell Ha to spend late nights at the university library – some 34 kilometres from home – in order to access their computers to complete assignments and maintain his grades.
“I do not have a laptop of my own,” he said.
“As an education student, I am a strong advocate for supporting future students to have ongoing access to things I didn’t have before such as stationery, textbooks and IT resources as this is what is necessary to equip and help students reach their potential.”
The arts/education student is one of 264 primary, secondary and tertiary students to benefit from a Strive Scholarship from community housing provider, SGCH which will ease the financial pressure on his mum for his education. Of these, 82 tertiary students received scholarships totaling $123,000
One person who knows about the finances struggle of getting an education is Fairfield Councillor Sera Yilmaz.
Ms Yilmaz was the guest speaker at the Strive Scholarship ceremony and spoke of her experiences growing up in social housing and going on to complete a Bachelor of Law, Bachelor of Social Science (Honours Distinction Level) and a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at Western Sydney University.
“The scholarship program is a fantastic opportunity for students living in community housing to purchase much needed resources to assist them in reaching their full potential. I congratulate SGCH for this program, as it helps ensure everyone has an equal opportunity to become a future leader in our society,” said Yilmaz, who was admitted as a Solicitor in the Supreme Court of NSW and High Court of Australia in 2013.
SGCH Group chief executive Scott Langford said Lenovo provided ex-demo models of laptops for each of the 82 tertiary scholarship recipients.
“Many students tell us that they need the money to buy or update their computer, so we know this represents incredible value, alongside the $1500 they will receive in scholarship money,” he said.
“In addition, Lenovo’s staff have generously made personal donations to the value of $600 which will go towards stationery for our primary and secondary scholarship recipients in January. In total, Lenovo is providing over $90,000 in sponsorship and we are grateful for their support.”