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Sophie gets the support she needs to go to university

Sophie has dreamt of being a psychologist since she was eight-years-old. But circumstances meant that her single mum wasn’t able to work and struggled with the school expenses of three children on her own. Affording university was impossible. Then Sophie experienced the power of Smith Family sponsors and supporters. And it changed the course of her life.

“Going to uni was about as possible as reaching the moon,” said Sophie.

We didn’t have enough money to afford school necessities. I had shoes that had holes in them, and I was bullied about it quite often. I was called ‘the holey girl’, because whenever it was raining … my shoes would leak the water all out on the floor.”

Sophie, sponsored student

The Smith Family helped us not just financially, but mentally, emotionally and personally
Sophie, sponsored student

Now Sophie is studying a Bachelor of Social Science (Psychology). Everything changed when Sophie was in Year 10 and she and her siblings were matched with Smith Family sponsors.

“[After we got sponsored] I had new shoes. We got a new printer, so then I could print off all my assignments and hand them in, rather than having to take them to the school library and make up an excuse for why I couldn’t pay,” she said. 

Sophie’s mum also grew up in disadvantage. With a limited education herself, she couldn’t give her children advice about university or career options. “When I grew up, school was very, very different. I had never had the chance or opportunity to even think about going to university or for further education; I had to go out and work. Mum tried as best as she could, but she was a single parent as well, so my options were very limited,” explains Sophie’s mum Sherrie.

So Sophie also took part in our online mentoring program iTrack. During this 18-week program, Sophie received the guidance to pursue her dream.

“[My mentor] was a psychologist. She told me about how she got to that point in her life, what she had to do,” said Sophie.

“She also gave me school tips, which I can still use now at uni – study tips that took my math from an average of 14 to an average of 84 per cent, which was actually the highest in the class.”

Sophie’s acceptance into university has given her whole family hope. She is so grateful to sponsors and supporters for making it possible.

“[Without the support] my mum would still be worrying every night about how she was going to give me the future that she knew I deserved. The Smith Family helped us not just financially, but mentally, emotionally and personally,” said Sophie.

“It’s given us all a future and it’s given my mum herself again.”

Sophie with certificate
Sophie at graduation

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