STAWELL Secondary College student Ashlee Wren hopes to fulfill her lifelong dream of going to university after after she received a scholarship.
Ashlee has been selected as the 2017 Macpherson Smith Rural Scholar.
She was one of only four recipients from more than 190 applications.
She now hopes to study social science, majoring in youth work at Deakin University.
The scholarship started last year after the Tilley family donated money to establish a new scholarship in memory of Stawell residents Chris and Marli Tilley.
The Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation administers the program.
Ashlee said her ultimate goal was to be accepted into university.
“For many students, the price of the university degree of their dreams to simply too steep to truly accomplish,” she said.
Ashlee said she was worried she wouldn’t be able to pay for school.
“However, thanks to the generosity of the Tilley family and the Macpherson Smith Rural Foundation my tertiary education dreams have become a reality,” she said.
”Knowing that I have been awarded with such a prestigious scholarship not only fills me with pride, but also with a feeling of pure gratitude to those who have both guided and supported me through my studies.
“I honestly feel so fortunate to have been selected as the recipient, and to be part of such an education-oriented community.”
Ashlee will receive $18,000 financial over three years, plus mentoring, leadership development and individual support.
Foundation chairman Rob Knowles said it was a shame to think many students were discouraged from attending university due to the financial burden it could create.
“It’s a fantastic feeling knowing that we can support a young person’s tertiary dreams with the scholarship; knowing that their passion for rural and regional communities will see them come back to these towns post-graduation,” he said.
“That’s a worthy investment and an exciting prospect.”
Ashlee was selected for her leadership capacity and commitment to regional communities.
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