Scholar Success – Rachel Bonic

When Rachel was awarded an ABCN scholarship in 2014, little did she know she would also create academic history two years later at her former school, Sarah Redfern High.

The eldest child in a single-parent family, Rachel had always worked part-time to contribute to the family income. By year 10, she was working around 20 hours a week, often at night and this, combined with her many household chores, meant fitting in her school work around a very busy schedule.

But Rachel had a goal to become the first person in her family to attend university. From a young age, she was determined she wanted to create a better life, to provide for her family in a way she knew her mother so desperately wanted to, but couldn’t due to her own lack of education and disadvantaged background. So despite her commitments to work and family, Rachel worked hard. She was Dux of Year 9, and in Year 10 she applied successfully for an ABCN scholarship.

Matched with a mentor from Navitas, Rachel was inspired by the corporate world and found herself broadening her options for post-school study.

‘ABCN gave me the extra push I needed’, she said. ‘Working with my mentor clarified things for me and gave me self-belief. Without that support, I would definitely have aimed lower.’

Two years later, in 2016, Rachel sat the HSC and achieved an ATAR of 89.9 – the highest ATAR score ever from a student at Sarah Redfern High. She was also placed on the Distinguished High Achievers List for her result of 48/50 in Extension English 1 – even more outstanding considering her mother is illiterate and from a non-English speaking background. Rachel and her family are justifiably proud of this result, but just as proud, are the staff at the school. Senior staff member, Paul Gavin, is confident that her scholarship was a critical component of her success.

‘Over and above the obvious work and dedication that Rachel put into her assessments and exams, it is difficult to measure what part any one thing played in her achievement’, he says. ‘But I firmly believe that a whole range of factors – including ABCN and her acceptance to be a scholarship holder and having a mentor – contributed either directly or indirectly to her result.’

Rachel has been accepted to continue her studies at the University of Sydney Business School in 2017. Only one other student from Sarah Redfern High has gained entry to Sydney University directly following their HSC.

To support to a scholar like Rachel, click here to make a donation.

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