Former ABCN Foundation scholar Joseph reflects on the mentoring and financial support he received through the scholarship, and how it changed his life for the better.
‘Never underestimate the power of wisdom,’ says Joseph Charrouf, who entered the three-year Accelerate program, run by the ABCN Foundation, in 2015. ‘The insight I received from my mentor was invaluable. That it came from someone who wanted to see me succeed, is priceless.’
Joseph, one of eight siblings, migrated to Australia from Lebanon with his family in the hope of seeking better living and educational prospects. Neither of his parents had attended university and have struggled financially to support the family. Throughout school, Joseph helped his mother in her full-time role of caring for his father.
These days, Joseph is studying a double degree in information technology and business at UTS while also working part-time as an Associate Business Analyst at Westpac, one of ABCN’s business partners.
He credits mentoring with getting him to where he is today. It was the opportunity to have a mentor that drew him to the Accelerate program in the first place. Without it, Joseph believes his life would have been vastly different.
‘ABCN has had a bigger influence on me than anyone could imagine,’ he says. ‘I had learnt from my siblings’ mistakes, but not necessarily from their achievements. I never really had anyone to give me direction. My mentor(s) provided me with the support I needed to pursue my passion and never lose sight of my goals.
‘On top of this, the financial relief was felt by my whole family and I’ve made life-long connections that I’m still in contact with. Without that mentoring and financial support, I do not think I would have ever realised my true potential.’
One of the aims of ABCN programs is to cultivate a confident mindset in all the students we support – a quality Joseph demonstrates in abundance on his LinkedIn page, where he describes himself as a ‘confident and enthusiastic student leader eager to explore the banking/technological sector – Always up for a challenge.’