Laura Taylor isn’t worried boys outnumber her four to one in her engineering classes at Australian National University.
I’m used to being in the minority in my preferred subjects. And when I talk to other girls who are doing engineering we all agree that it makes us more determined to do well because of that underdog stigma.
Laura said she has always been good at maths and science and wanted to look for a practical way to apply those skills when she set about choosing her university degree. “Engineering is such a great course – I’m really enjoying testing out the variety of subjects on offer in my first year.”
While Laura hasn’t made a final decision on the career she wants to pursue she said she is leaning toward environmental engineering.
“Before I started uni I took a gap year to earn money and do some volunteer work. My volunteer work in Borneo really opened my eyes to the impact engineers can have on the world around us, from water management to public health.”
When Laura finished school she applied to the Country Education Foundation in the Shoalhaven for a grant to help her on her way to uni.
I was so excited when I found out I would be receiving support from the Country Education Foundation of Shoalhaven. Even though I had worked hard to save for my uni degree in my gap year I was still pretty stressed about being able to afford to study.
Laura had to relocate to Canberra for study and said the cost of living away from home is pretty hard to keep up with. “It’s the unexpected expenses that I find I can’t afford as a student – like when my laptop broke.”
The support I’ve received from CEF has been really helpful. I’ve received a local grant as well as a Kirby Scholarship and co-funding from ANU. All of it makes such a difference when you’re trying to juggle everything. And it means I can keep my part-time job at suitable hours to make sure I’m keeping up with my uni studies.
For students like Laura, support services to ease the financial pressures that come with higher education are essential. “Getting scholarship support has been so good for me. Not only does it mean that I can afford my textbooks each semester but it has also shown me that people believe in what I am doing.”
Help more students like Laura on their way to further education, training and careers by donating to Country Education Foundation.