Jelisa Apps knew she wanted to be a journalist after completing an internship with her local newspaper at the age 14. So when the time came to apply for uni she was sure about the course she wanted to do. But Jelisa had some concerns about covering the costs associated with further study.
Boorowa-born Jelisa was raised by her grandparents and supporting a full-time university student is not something many retired people budget for. Jelisa said Canberra rents and textbooks certainly aren’t cheap.
In her final year of school she was told about the Country Education Foundation. She applied for a grant through her local foundation in Boorowa and was successful.
“It was a huge help to know I had a bit of money to start with. Knowing my town really wanted me to go to uni pushed me to believe in myself; I felt very supported by the Country Education Foundation and my town.”
Students from regional and rural areas face big decisions when it comes to further study. The move away from support networks and the costs involved can be prohibitive for many.
Jelisa believes supporting young people to gain qualifications that lead to secure jobs is a worthwhile investment for any community. She said the CEF is a fantastic support resource for students; and the grants local foundations provide play an important role in the further education and training of young people.
“I have seen it get the ball rolling for a lot of country kids. Grants and scholarships are an important part of helping regional students overcome the mental block that they will never be able to go to uni.”
Jelisa said it’s not only financial support that makes a difference to rural and regional students. When her grandparents were both diagnosed with cancer Jelisa took some time out from her studies to care for them before they passed away. She said her local foundation members were very supportive through this difficult time.
After successfully graduating from university last year with a double degree in journalism and law Jelisa landed her dream job as a reporter with WIN News in Canberra. She also volunteers with her local CEF in Boorowa to help promote the work they do with students. She said giving back to her local foundation was an easy decision after all the support they have given her.
If you have been helped by the Country Education Foundation in your local area we would love to hear from you. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us your story.
Would you like to help students like Jelisa by giving the gift of education? You can donate to the CEF here.