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Sponsorship motivates Olivia to do her best

“I had a very happy but humble upbringing. Mum couldn’t work as she had to look after four kids. My younger sister, Grace, has down syndrome and needs extra care. Dad was very hardworking but he never finished school, so I guess that's one of the reasons he cared so much about our education,” said Olivia, age 20.

With one modest wage to stretch across a family of six, there wasn’t enough left for school essentials. Thankfully Olivia and her siblings were matched with sponsors early on in primary school. It gave them a great start to their education.

“Sponsorship has been amazing! It meant we could afford things like school books and uniforms. They’re not cheap at all.”

Olivia Tertiary Sponsored Student

Olivia and her sisters

As Olivia moved into high school, the cost of excursions, course materials and uniforms increased. But her sponsors were there for her over the long term. Seeing her sponsors’ generosity inspired Olivia to achieve her best. And when she got into university, ongoing sponsorship made it possible for her to continue her studies.

“Knowing there’s someone out there who really cares about my education is inspiring to me,” said Olivia.

“I'm studying a Bachelor of Music. To gain entry into my university course I needed a score of about 75. I knew I'd be able to achieve that, but nothing stopped me from really pushing myself. And I got 93!

“Now that I'm at university, I can fully appreciate how much sponsorship benefits me. For example, I didn't own my computer until this year. I couldn't have bought it without the sponsorship funds. This was a really big deal for me.”

For many people today, a computer is a standard household item. But 27% of Learning for Life families don’t have access to a computer or tablet with internet in the home. This can hold them back from so many opportunities.Seeing the challenges her family has faced has fuelled Olivia’s desire to help others. And she will never forget how powerful her sponsors’ support has been.

“I’m passionate about music therapy. When my sister, Grace, was young, she had a music therapist who helped her learn how to talk. So that was really special. I definitely believe in music having a healing power,” said Olivia.

“Someday, I would love to be a sponsor– to help another student out there.

“The support from my sponsor has been really helpful. It could have been so different without that support. I’m very grateful for my sponsor’s generosity.”

Olivia playing piano

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