SARAH Harrison’s life changed when she landed a Young Australia League (YAL) scholarship.
The Cloverdale local is in her second year of a $12,500 YAL & Lyndsay Peet Memorial Post-Secondary Scholarship.
“It takes a lot of pressure off, which is good,” Ms Harrison (19) said.
“Now I don’t have to work as much and I can study more. That’s the problem I used to have, trying to figure out work and study.
“I know even when I was in high school, I took days off school so I could work. I don’t have to do that now, and I can focus a lot,” she explained.
Ms Harrison is studying social work at Curtin University and wants to eventually work with disadvantaged youth.
“I would like to give kids opportunities,” she said.
“Sometimes the things they’ve grown up with, they can’t really help it, and I know they influence their behaviour a lot.
“Kids, especially those in minorities, need to know they’re special and that people do care, because it’ll help them realise and stop doing so much crime.”
YAL is accepting applications from students aged between 12 and 25 experiencing hardship due to social circumstances, disability or distance.
The group was founded in 1905 by prominent WA businessman and politician John Joseph ‘Boss’ Simons, and the scholarships are funded through a charitable endowment trust created by the YAL board in 2014.
“Our aim is to break down financial and situational barriers and offer young people experiencing disadvantage a ‘hand up’ to assist their continued access to education,” YAL chairman Frank Schaper said.
Submissions close on September 15. Visit yal.org.au.