In high school, Ethiopian-born Semeret Sequar thought it wouldn’t be possible to continue studying, due to financial barriers. Now, she’s excited to be in her first year of a Bachelor of Science at The University of Melbourne, with dreams of one day becoming an electrical engineer.
Semeret came to Australia four years ago, and learned English with the help of her teachers. With the financial costs of high school looming, she gratefully received her first Western Chances Scholarship in 2014. Her scholarships have been renewed each year as Semeret continues to achieve academically and follow her pathway to becoming an engineer.
“Three years ago, I became part of the wonderful Western Chances family. I am an independent girl so I felt that I should buy my books and everything I need for school.
“However, when I started year 11 VCE I could not afford the books and calculators I needed, so I was going to give up everything. But Western Chances gave me hope, they paid for everything I needed for study, including a yearly MYKI travel card and for my internet.”
As well as providing direct financial support to scholarship recipients, Western Chances prides itself on assisting young people to access other services and opportunities which can help them to thrive in their studies.
In Semeret’s case, this meant supporting her to access other scholarships and opportunities, like the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship.
“I am not a citizen yet, which means that I must pay $5,000 upfront for university every semester. I was planning to take a gap year because I could not afford the payment but the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship is paying for me. This helped me to focus on my study without stresses about the payment.”
In addition to the Mary Jane Lewis Scholarship, Semeret has also received a non-resident scholarship to Ormond College. Western Chances work closely with Ormond College to assist our scholarship recipients with the transaition from secondary school to tertiary aeducation.
“I get food, tutorials and academic support from the college, which is helping me to achieve good results in my subjects.”
Semeret is now focusing all her energies on her studies to achieve the best results possible. But she still makes sure she has time for her hobbies like reading books and playing soccer, while she dreams about her future.
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