Growing up in Wallumbilla, attending the local school before moving to Roma State College for her senior schooling years, Kaylah Pearce is like many Country Education Foundation scholarship recipients across Australia. She was interested in applying for university but knew she’d have to leave family and friends to study in the city.
“It was my English teacher who told me about Country Education Foundation and the scholarships they offered. I researched to see what scholarships were available, what others use them for, and applied,” she said.
“I was fortunate to be awarded a scholarship for my first year of study at the University of Southern Queensland.”
Kaylah, now living on the Toowoomba campus is studying for a Bachelor of Engineering Science (Mechanical Engineering).
“The scholarship has helped with accommodation expenses and allowed me to live on campus. The big advantage has been that there is no need to drive to classes but I also get to live with people who are studying the same course, and make friends. This has made the transition away from home easier, plus helped with my own studies,” she said.
Kaylah views both university and city life as providing her with new opportunities and experiences. She recommends anyone who may be considering leaving their home town for further study to seek out CEF scholarships and follow their education dreams.
“Yes, I’m still focused on becoming an engineer, but I’ve also had opportunities other country kids should have too. When I finished school, I didn’t really know 100% what I wanted to do. Now, living in a bigger city, on campus surrounded by other students, I’ve been given a wider perspective on what’s available for careers and life. While I’m very happy doing my chosen degree, I’ve seen others who have had their eyes opened, changed courses and are now studying a course they didn’t even know existed previously.
“My advice to other students looking at a course in another city is… do it! The Country Education Foundation grant has made my move to Toowoomba much easier and after only six months I think it’s one of the best decisions I’ve made.”
In conjunction with the new Christine Stanford Scholarships, students aspiring to pursue tertiary or further education can apply for the next round of annual scholarships offered by MREG. Details on how to apply is available on the Maranoa Regional Education Group website.