On 19 February, 31 local students (shown above with MSN chair Jon Chin) were awarded MSN Educational Scholarships to be used to support their education during 2019.With this year’s awards the number of scholarships provided since 2008 rose to 206 with a combined value of $473,500.In 2008 just two awards were made and since then the reputation of the program and the number of applicants has grown annually; with over 60 applying for the 2019 awards.
The students come from across the region.This year the 31 recipients came from Newcastle (11), Lake Macquarie (10), Maitland (7), Port Stephens (2) and Cessnock (1).
In addition to their scholarships each student received a planner courtesy of Grace MacLean of NFP Connect.
Natalia Hogan was awarded scholarships to support her studies in both 2017 and 2018.She had hoped to speak at the 2019 presentation, but had already left for a year as an au pair in the UK. She asked Graham Hawkins (a long-time supporter) to read her words to the students.
“During my schooling I lived independently so I found financial stress a huge burden on my studies.Instead of focusing in class and studying at home, I was focusing on how I was going to afford a laptop or the textbooks that were needed in my new subjects while also paying for basic living needs such as groceries. The MSN not only relieved my financial stress but also supported me emotionally. Knowing you have so many people that support and believe in you was a huge motive for my own success.
I’d like to say to all the recipients that you should never give up on your dream goals, for every person that doubts you there will be at least another 10 people that believe in you. Always maintain a balance of study, exercise and socialising. Ensure you have structure, make planners that ensure you spend an adequate amount of time studying on each subject. It won’t be easy, there will be times where you are so overwhelmed but in the end it will all happen so quickly and the short time of hard work will be worth it.
At the end of 2018 I was offered to study a bachelor of Biomedical Science at the University of Newcastle. However, I decided to take a gap year and move to London to work as an au pair and travel Europe. I will be returning to Australia in 2020 to continue my studies at the University of Newcastle. The support from the MSN led to my success and I would like to say thank you to everyone who continually gives their time to support us.”