By Emilie Ng
AUSTRALIA’S first women religious congregation has offered a young woman who lived in a foster home for 15 years a $30,000 scholarship to study at the University of Western Sydney.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation has partnered with UWS to provide an aspiring student who has lived in out-of-care or foster homes with a $30,000 scholarship.
Kimberley Marsh received the foundation’s first scholarship, which includes a hands-on university experience progam, on-campus support from UWS, and support from the Sisters of Charity Foundation.
“It’s quite a blessing to know that disadvantaged individuals can receive this opportunity and succeed in life in a way they wouldn’t expect to,” Miss Marsh said.
“This has instilled a confidence in me that I am extremely grateful for and I hope this scholarship program continues to bless the lives of many more students who may not have had the easiest life.”
Five young Sisters of Charity travelled from Ireland to Australia in 1883, becoming the first women religious to walk the Great South Land. The sisters worked with female prisoners in Parramatta, in Sydney’s west, and cared specifically for children, many of whom lived in out-of-care homes.
Sisters of Charity Foundation chairman Richard Haddock said the organisation was thrilled to help young people who have lived in out-of-care homes “achieve their potential through education”.
“We are excited about expanding the Sisters of Charity Foundation Scholarship to continue welcoming new recipients,” Mr Haddock said.
The foundation has helped numerous young people who lived in foster homes receive a tertiary education. University of Queensland student Ellen Mizzi received a scholarship in 2013.
When she was growing up, school “wasn’t even a vision” for Miss Mizzi.
“I went to school but I remember occasions where I missed out on school for an entire year,” she said.
Miss Mizzi said she was “grateful” for her scholarship from the Sisters of Charity Foundation.
“It’s given me a life I never though I’d ever have,” she said.