Success stories resulting from Donations
You have helped me realise my goals and make them feel more attainable. This is allowing me to concentrate on my studies rather than the financial mess I was finding myself to be in. I really don't know how I can repay you but to work my hardest at uni. One day I will remember what you did for me and make someone else's dreams become a reality.
From a Learning for Life tertiary student to his sponsor
Julia is celebrating the completion at the end of last year of a four year Bachelor of Early Childhood Education - a dream she never would have thought possible when she was younger.
When her mother passed away in her first year of university in 2005, Julia's brothers and sister moved away to live with their father and Julia began living with her best friend. Her mother had been extremely supportive of her education and Julia was determined to continue with her studies, though without financial support through The Smith Family would have struggled to afford books, travel and other education-related expenses.
Julia has an enormous appreciation of the support anonymous sponsors have afforded her through The Smith Family and recalls the huge relief it offered her mother when Julia was at school.
"My brothers were also supported by The Smith Family to ensure they could have the same opportunities for success as their peers and the family was so grateful for the assistance, as my mum believed in the value of education," she said.
Julia is excited to have recently secured a one year contract as a Year 2 teacher this year. She was the first of her cohort to secure a teaching position.
"I want to show that there are genuine people on low incomes who deserve an education as much as the next person," Julia said. "We shouldn't have to be ashamed of our situation and I'm proud to demonstrate that it doesn't mean you can't be successful."
The Smith Family links disadvantaged children with opportunities, services and supports, and connects them with those Australians who have the capacity, skills and resources to help. Julia hopes one day to be able to give back and sponsor her own student.
Twelve year old Abbey of Maroochydore has been raised by her mother since her father died of a heart attack when she was six years old. She has a great talent and passion for painting and music, but would not have had the opportunity to pursue her talents without support from The Smith Family.
A financial scholarship offered by The Smith Family assists in easing the strain on Abbey's mother, Shelley, when it comes to purchasing school books, uniforms and other education-related necessities for her daughter, which means the budget can stretch to assist with musical pursuits.
"Abbey has a great deal of potential and I would hate to think about not being able to let her explore her talents just because she didn't have access to the right support and tools," said Shelley.
Leaha is a 15 year old Indigenous student who has been raised most of her life by her grandmother in an inner suburb of Sydney and assisted by Learning for Life to afford school essentials.
Leaha's sporting talents are wide-ranging and include involvement in Little Athletics for 11 years, netball for two years and Oztag for three years, but her true sporting passion is tied up in basketball.
"While I love lots of sports, I am most proud of representing my school in the state basketball team and my goal is to play basketball for Australia one day," Leaha said.
With the support of his devoted parents, and his Learning for Life sponsor, 17-year-old Trent had all the motivation he needed to get through Year 12.
Trent recently found out that he's been accepted into the Bachelor of Biological Sciences at La Trobe University, making him the first person in his immediate family to ever go to university.
Coming from a family of five brothers, Trent was thankful for the support of The Smith Family to help him achieve his goals.
"Knowing that I had a sponsor through the Learning for Life program made me work harder," he said.
"Every time I wrote my profile to send to the sponsor, it reminded me that there was someone out there who was helping me, and it did encourage me to do my very best."
Trent, who has been on the Learning for Life program since Year 7, was delighted when he saw his VCE results and knew he would get into the university course of his choice.
"When I got my score, I was pretty excited," he said.
"I like science because you get to learn about things that are unknown and I find that fascinating."
While Trent isn't sure what field he'd like to get into, he's certain the course will help him discover the right career for him.
In the meantime, Trent is enjoying a well-deserved break from study and taking time to celebrate his achievements with his family.
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