YWCA's New Scholarship Program Aims to Educate and Empower Young Women
The YWCA Scholarship Program was launched this year at the YWCA Annual General Meeting. It was a touching ceremony that saw four women from our mentoring programs and housing receive funding to further tertiary education opportunities. Next year we would like to increase our scholarship program to five recipients and include funding for education, young women’s leadership and creative industries.
Below are some lovely speeches given by life member Sandy Bell describing the scholarship recipients. If you would like to donate to our Scholarship Program, please click here.
Kasey Hutchins started in the Asista program at the age of 15 when she had just moved into her first foster home. She found in her mentor, Catherine a reliable friend and someone to look up to.
Their match relationship grew into a friendship that no longer required structure and support and today consider themselves “friends for life”.
The Asista program had such positive impact that Kasey has expressed her interest in one day becoming an Asista mentor to a young woman like herself.
She is contemplating a career in Aged Care after caring for her beloved grandfather who lost his battle to cancer. She is determined to make a difference in the lives of others and sees this career as a gratifying means to achieve her dreams.
Maddison was matched with her Asista mentor Rebecca when she was 12yo. Their first outing was a trip to the movies and six years later, after many catch ups, they still share a friendship that began in the Asista program.
Madie is considering a course in nutrition to be able to assist her aunt’s business and she dreams of developing meal plans to help clients who wish to improve their health and wellbeing. Madisson is in NSW and was unable to attend today’s meeting so Rebecca will be receiving the scholarship on her behalf.
Yoshie currently lives in YWCA Housing and eagerly took up an opportunity for further education when she participated in the Transitions Project earlier this year. The Transitions Project was a partnership between YWCA Vic and CAE which offered women living in YWCA Housing free pre-accredited training courses and a personalised mentor to support in their education journey. Yoshi completed English for Community Engagement, Business Basics and Ready to Learn Online.
She has continued in both the English and Business courses, saying ‘I’m not doing the computer course because the teacher told me there’s nothing more she can teach me!’
When congratulated on being chosen to receive the scholarship, she said ‘I’m very happy, what have I done to deserve this? It’s such an unexpected thing to happen to me."
“I want to do a Business Course so I can get a full time office work job, be independent and pay back to this country that has given me so much’. She said she was saved by Australia and just wants to show her appreciation and pay back for all she has received from this country.
Fumiyo is also a resident of YWCA Housing and through the Transitions Project she enrolled in the ‘English for Community Engagement’ and ‘Intel Learn Easy Steps’ computer basics course. Fumiyo is very focussed on wanting to improve her English language skills and enjoyed the English course so much, she has continued each term this year, stating that “it hasn’t been easy, but the teacher is wonderful and she’s learnt so much.”
Fumiyo is keen to continue with an English language course next year and said it’s been so helpful to improve her grammar, ability to communicate and especially her pronunciation. "It’s very important to get my accent right so I can be understood."
Below: Yoshie Komatsu with Life Member Sandy Bell at our AGM.