Isis District State High School student Atalia Knight will be able to follow her dreams of becoming a pain management specialist after receiving a prestigious Harding Miller Education Foundation Scholarship.
Atalia was among nearly 60 promising female students in Queensland public schools to be selected for the scholarship, and will receive more than $20,000 worth of assistance over four years.
More than 700 Year 9 students applied for the scholarships this year, which are for young women who are passionate about their studies, but who may lack opportunities to achieve their academic potential and dreams.
Through the scholarships, girls are supported in a variety of practical ways including with equipment, computers, internet connections, textbooks, tutoring and coaching, which they may otherwise not have access to.
Atalia, a talented athlete who suffers from an ongoing chronic pain condition, said the scholarship would help her overcome potential obstacles to her future academic pursuits.
“At university I want to study to become a pain management specialist,” she said.
“This is because I want to help young people with chronic pain as I suffer from a chronic pain condition myself.
“I have been in the school soccer, cricket and AFL teams but I have had to stop sport due to my condition.
“The scholarship will help me enormously at school through the provision of a computer to help me study at home and at school.
“It would also help my parents pay for uniforms, camps and extra-curricular activities.
“The Scholarship has opened a new world of possibilities for me, giving me assistance with all aspects of my learning. I am very thankful that I was the recipient of this amazing opportunity to help my dreams come true.”
Harding Miller Foundation Executive Director, Cara Varian, said scholarship recipients had high academic potential.
“They are talented and dedicated, but they simply do not currently have access to the resources that they need to make the most of their education opportunities,” she said.
“Girls are more likely to complete high school and go on to pursue further education when they are supported with equipment, money for resources, tutoring and coaching, and that’s the type of support we are providing to these students.
“We want to support these high-potential young women to stay in school and to have the option going to university.”
Ms Varian said the Harding Miller Education Foundation focused on supporting the girls’ basic needs to complete their high school education.
“We get satellites installed in homes to make sure that the kids can get access to the internet. We supply noise-cancelling headphones if they don’t have a dedicated study space. We send out supermarket gift cards if families are having trouble with the groceries,” Ms Varian said.
“These are tangible, practical things which we can do to give young women a hand to complete their schooling and fulfil their potential.”