2016 has been an exciting and rewarding year for the ABCN Foundation with support for scholarships increasing by 40% on last year – our largest annual offering yet.
The Foundation has just announced 21 new scholarships for disadvantaged students across Australia. There are now 62 scholars participating in the scholarship program thanks to the generous support of our corporate and philanthropic partners.
The success of the Foundation’s scholarship initiative since its inception in 2013 has led to us re-positioning it, giving it a program name of its own – Accelerate. Feedback from our existing scholars tells us that while the financial component of the scholarship is important, most valued is their access to a mentor and the longevity of this one-on-one relationship over a sustained three-year period. By naming the scholarship Accelerate, and bringing it into the wider fold of ABCN mentoring programs, we are acknowledging the importance of long-term guidance and mentoring for the scholarship recipients – a significant differentiator when comparing Accelerate to traditional monetary scholarships.
‘We chose the name Accelerate to highlight the accelerated opportunities scholarship students experience through the relationship they have with their dedicated mentors’, says Samantha Luck, ABCN Foundation Manager. ‘The scholarship is all about accelerating personal growth and academic pathways for exceptional students through a facilitated mentoring program.’
In alignment with the Foundation’s goals to broaden national reach, scholarship beneficiaries this year included students from Bendigo and Geelong in Victoria and additional scholars in both Western Australia and Tasmania. Having two or more scholars in more remote areas is important as these students support each other through the program.
As always, the scholarship recipient presentation ceremonies in each state were a powerful reminder of the impact Accelerate has on shaping the futures of talented students. New and past recipients shared their journeys, stepping out of their comfort zones by speaking to large audiences about what mentoring means to them. It’s fair to say there was seldom a dry eye in the room!
To read the full transcript of new NSW scholar Monira’s speech from the Sydney awards ceremony, click here. She did an amazing job articulating what receiving the scholarship means to her and other recipients.
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