Bundaberg's Hollie Cooper has been awarded one of USC's most prestigious scholarships for first-year students.
The 2018 school captain of Kepnock State High School and OP2 student who is studying law, criminology and justice at USC’s Sunshine Coast campus is one of two new undergraduate students selected to receive the $20,000 Renouf Family Scholarship.
“I am a little awestruck and honoured to be chosen out of a pool of so many talented and dedicated applicants,” said Hollie, who was recognised for her outstanding academic achievements and leadership skills in her school and wider community.
“I’ve always been all-in when it comes to my education and this is the greatest reward I could receive for working hard,” the 17-year-old said.
“It would be fair to say that I went the extra mile to throw myself into my studies and my school and community and sought as many opportunities as possible to make a positive impact through leadership.”
In Year 12, Hollie received gold academic, service and cultural awards from Kepnock State High School and a Gladstone Ports Corporation Bursary for being one of the school’s highest achievers.
The annual Renouf Family Scholarship was established by Sir Clem Renouf to provide outstanding new USC students with financial support during their undergraduate studies.
Hollie said the scholarship would alleviate some of the stress of juggling study with the day-to-day expenses of living away from home.
“It is a true blessing to know that I can focus on my studies without worrying about pressure on myself or my parents to make ends meet,” she said.
A keen interest in the legal system inspired Hollie to enrol in a combined Laws/Criminology and Justice degree at USC.
“I love the complexity of law. I enjoy the inextricable links to social, environmental and economic issues and how law must carefully consider these,” she said.
“I hope to eventually work in advocacy law or youth justice as I am driven by the dream of having a career that makes a positive impact on the lives of others.”
After enjoying her introduction to university life during last week’s Orientation, Hollie said it was exciting to start her studies as the first semester began last week.
“I’m loving the freedom of university even though there is a lot of responsibility,” she said.
“The campus is beautiful and it’s really exciting to experience so many new things and places with so many new people. It’s been easy to feel at home as everyone is very friendly.”
— Clare McKay