A Newcastle and Hunter Region program that has already assisted 440 disadvantaged students attain their educational and career goals, is expecting an increase in interest for its 2024 scholarship opportunities.
Mentor Support Network (MSN), a not-for-profit organisation that assists young students experiencing significant socio-economic difficulties or family challenges, is hoping to offer up to 50 scholarships for the 2024 academic year.
Chair of MSN, Judy Hart, said the organisation had already been in contact with regional high schools and education institutions to promote its 2024 Educational Scholarship program and that initial feedback had been encouraging.
“The application period for our 2024 scholarships opened on Monday (17 July) which coincided with students returning to school for Term 3,” Judy said.
“Interest in the scholarships was being generated before the term break and we are confident that applications will flow from next week until they close in late September.”
MSN offered its first Educational Scholarship in 2008 and it has since developed the initiative to where it is now the organisation’s major focus – 42 scholarships having been successfully awarded in 2023.
“The scholarships are valued at between $1,000 and $2,000 and are designed to mainly assist eligible students who will be entering Year 11 studies or final studies of their vocational courses,” Judy said.
“Scholarships are granted to students who demonstrate the drive and determination to achieve educational goals, despite experiencing financial need.
“The scholarships are not necessarily awarded because of academic achievement, but rather because of a student’s demonstrated desire to succeed.
“The overall goal of the scholarship program is to assist disadvantaged young people to stay in senior years at high school or in vocational training and reach their potential in terms of individual education and career goals.”
Judy said that although the bulk of the scholarships would be awarded to high school students, applications were invited from people studying at other educational institutions in the Hunter Region such as TAFE or enrolled in an apprenticeship program (including VET).
The number of Educational Scholarships offered each year depended on the generosity of sponsors, donors, and members.
The 440 scholarships awarded since 2008 have provided $770,000 in support funding for disadvantaged students.
IMAGE | More than 40 students from 10 Hunter Region high schools and vocational institutions presented with certificates at the 2023 Educational Scholarship presentation ceremony.