Mildura Weekly : Friday April 8 Vol 10 No 22
NEWS 13 FRIDAY, APRIL 8, 2016 MILDURAWEEKLY.COM.AU HELPING the region’s young people reach their full potential has been the main goal for Mildura charity group Chances for Children since its inception 15 years ago, with that trend set to continue this year. Established in 2001 to help children and young people achieve their potential in ter- tiary, sporting or cultural pursuits, the group is once again calling on people who have completed school and are heading to, or have already started, TAFE, university or an ap- prenticeship to apply for their special schol- arships. Chances has so far donated $4million to 1500 recipients as part of the scholarship program, with Mildura nurse Aimee Ryan, 23, PICTURED, one of those beneficiaries. Born and raised in Mildura, Aimee is a graduate of Mildura South Primary School and Irymple Secondary and Mildura Senior Colleges. Aimee said she had spent the first six months of her tertiary education studying health and human movement at UniSA in Adelaide, before coming back to Mildura to study nursing at La Trobe University. It was a year into her nursing degree that Aimee realised she needed a helping hand to cover some of the costs associated with study. Enter Chances, who through its scholar- ship program offered to help pay for certain aspects of the degree. “Chances offered to help pay for accom- modation while I was away for placements, and also helped pay for uniforms and a few text books,” she said. “It’s certainly a different type of scholarship. “Chances sit down with you and figure out your budget, and work out where they can help.” Aimee said she “would have struggled to complete my degree without Chances’ help.” “Before the scholarship I was working three casual jobs, and with nursing you have a lot of placements and a lot of study,” she said. “It got to the point where I just couldn’t work and study at the same time because of the heavy workload. “Even when you did get to the weekends you’re just exhausted, and yet still have to complete assignments.” Aimee said she had first heard of the scholarship through a friend of her mum. “An email was also sent around to peo- ple at the university,” she said. “I originally wasn’t going to apply because of how hard some scholarships are. “I found Chances really easy to work with, and I was really surprised to find that I was suc- cessful, especially being a local and studying locally.” Aimee encouraged any local students in need of a helping hand to consider applying for the scholarship. “You don’t just get a big chunk of money for your course, it’s an individualised approach where Chances sit down and work with you to figure what you need,” she said. “It’s a very simple process, and a lot of the correspon- dence is done via email. “I didn’t think I would be eligible, and I was quite surprised to be picked, so students out there should definitely consider applying.” Aimee is currently undertaking a 12-month graduate nurse program at Mildura Base Hos- pital, which includes three, four-month rota- tions. “I have my study days, and we also have appraisal tools to fill out,” she said. “It’s been really good to get hands-on experience.” So far Aimee has had the chance to gain experience across a broad range of areas, while also being able to explore her passion of work- ing in both the emergency and mental health departments. “At this stage I’m leaning towards emergen- cy, and I definitely want to stay in Mildura,” she said. More information about Chances’ current funding round is available by visiting www. chancesforchldren.com.au, or by contacting staff at Mildura (5021 7480) or Swan Hill (5032 4479). Chances scholarships continue to help Building more Chances for our children CHANCES for Children believes that everyone has the right to high quality education to realise their potential. According to research undertaken by the group, rural populations like the Mallee suffer from a disproportionate level of disadvantage. Students from rural Victoria rep- resent about 30 percent of the total school student population, but far few- er go on to attend university or study at a Certificate IV level or above. Student location has also been proven to have a significant impact on ‘drop-out’ rates, with students from regional areas being three times more likely to drop out than their metropoli- tan counterparts. Additionally, recent research into rural education has found that there are other socio-cultural factors, includ- ing financial difficulties, lack of afford- able housing, family responsibilities, the need to find paid work, difficulties with fees and health problems relat- ing to the stress of attending university away from family, which impact on a student’s access to, and participation in, education. The decision to offer scholarships stems from a desire to help the region’s young people overcome the odds. Mouthguards available in your team colours or any colour selected from our chart. this footy season Keep that Smile Special Price ONLY $11140 MILDURA 155 Langtree Ave Ph: 5022 2933 ROBINVALE 160 Bromley Rd Ph: 5026 3536 OUYEN Britt St (Hospital Site) Ph: 5092 1121 BERRI 11 Crawford Te rrace Ph: 08 8582 2796 or any colour selected from our chart. 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