Scholarship recipient overcomes barriers on road to dreams

Posted: Sat, 7th October 2017 | Written by: The Western Chances Team

Year 11 student Yasin Khawari has come a long way in life since arriving in Australia as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2015.

Scholarship recipient overcomes barriers on road to dreams

With little knowledge of the English Language Yasin enrolled in an intensive English language program outside of school which helped to bridge the gap between him and his fellow students.

“When I first came here, I had lots of English barriers from reading to speaking and also communicating my ideas.

“Now I consider myself a proud student who has made lots of progress but I still need to push myself beyond my limits.”

Yasin is currently enjoying VCE year 11 in Copperfield College, undertaking legal studies, maths methods, specialist mathematics, biology, chemistry, and EAL (English as an additional language); with plans to study the Persian language in Box Hill next year.

Receiving his first Western Chances Scholarship in x 2016 has made a big difference to Yasin, supporting him to pursue his education and achieve his goals. In 2016 Yasin was awarded funds to purchase textbooks, a specialist calculator, contribute to home internet fees and to undertake a language course at the Victorian School of Languages. His scholarship was renewed in 2017 and he received funding for textbooks, home internet fees and a MYKI card.

“It is quite fair [to say] that without Western Chances I would not be able to achieve anything because it was quite tough and I really was in need of financial support.

“Western Chances not only helped me to overcome challenges but also made me deeply think that if I do something good and put in consistent effort, financial and any other barriers cannot stop me from achieving and reaching my dream.”

Western Chances is about more than just finances. With our support, as a part of our Links program, Yasin attended the Lord Somers Camp and Power House “Big Camp” in January. The camp is a memorable experience where young people create strong friendship bonds through shared activities.

“Big Camp was one the best weeks of my life so far… Programs like Big Camp have the power to bring people together and create a sense of purpose and build relationships that may last for the rest of your life.”

Big Camp is a learning experience for young people, and the personal growth doesn’t end with making new friends: it provides life-changing opportunities to develop teamwork and leadership skills.

“In Big Camp we challenged ourselves to push the boundaries and achieve something bigger which we could not do individually. At Big Camp it is not about I and you; it is all about we. We can achieve anything together. We care about each other and we feel sympathy and a sense of responsibility to help those who are in need. The main message I learned is that beauty is in diversity and mutual understanding and respecting others, even if you disagree with their points of view.”

With big dreams on the horizon, we don’t know how Yasin will fit in his favourite hobbies of tennis, basketball, reading and watching movies.

“I would like to be a doctor, specifically a heart surgeon (not sure if I could achieve the needed ATAR, but I will try and I am optimistic).”

Based on his achievements so far, we are sure Yasin has the drive and passion to reach his dreams and overcome any and all obstacles in his way.

Western Chances assists motivated young people in Melbourne’s west to realise their potential by providing scholarships, opportunity programs and ongoing support. We will continue to support young people like Yasin and ensure that financial barriers do not stand in the way of their educational journeys.

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