Former Stawell Secondary student Sienna Amarant will be the recipient of a $45,000 scholarship, which will help her with residency during her three years at university.
Ms Amarant achieved the dux last year and will study a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Politics and International Studies at the University of Melbourne, making her the first in her family to attend university.
She was one of two students selected in the Wimmera to receive the Fielding Menzies Tertiary Scholarship for passion, commitment to study and participation in leadership and community activities.
“I have always been involved in leadership activities via smaller roles, like being a school ambassador, every year there was something I was involved in,” she said.
“In the senior years I started to really understand the importance of it. I grew a lot in confidence and learned a lot as a House and School Captain, and I wanted to encourage other kids to pursue the same opportunities in leadership.”
Ms Amarant said her involvement in leadership and exposure to subjects such as legal studies, health and human development and global politics led her to study her bachelor.
“They were the subjects that had a worldly view and opened my mind about issues that I was not exposed to growing up in a rural community, they inspired me to work hard to understand different people and cultures and how they function,” she said.
“I am particularly interested in learning how I can promote and provide access to human rights for all through social policy, particularly when it comes to women and education.
“I believe that if we can keep helping people obtain high quality education, particularly in developing countries, it can empower them to fight for their own rights, and subsequently improve the well-being of themselves and those around them.”
Former Stawell Secondary student Natasha Kennedy-Read also won the same scholarship last year.
School principal Nick Lynch said it was a great testament to state education at Stawell.
“We wish Sienna well and we are very proud of her achievements and only hope she continues to reach her goals,” he said.
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