Friday, 20 July 2012

Turning things around

Hi Ashleigh,

Tony & I have just finished marking the exams. During this process, we also keep track of students whose answers are particularly good. You’re one of these students. Your overall result was strong, but we just wanted you to know that the quality that impressed us most was your sensible approach to the scenarios.

Tony & I are looking forward to being involved in your education next Semester. We want to hear your voice in the Tutorials as well – your knowledge base shows you certainly have some useful information for your peers. Speak up!

Great work. Keep it up.


Cam, and on behalf of Tony.

- - -

Above is an email from my lecturers at uni, sent last Friday. When I got it I cried.

I will never, ever forget that moment.

Last year Cam and Tony would not have known I existed. They wouldn't have seen me during lectures, because I was at work during most of them. They wouldn't have noticed my marks, because I was barely scraping by. They wouldn't have noticed me in tutorials, because I was always running late from work and leaving early to go back to work, and spent the time in class staying as small and as quiet as possible, while desperately trying to catch up on what I had missed that week.

This email was sent to several other students. They will file it away with all the other encouragement they have ever received from their lecturers, parents and families. For me, it is stuck on my bathroom mirror, because it is the first time since I have started my degree that I have felt hopeful. It is the first time I have real hope that I might actually finish my degree.

Every single day I have struggled to stay with my education. Life has felt like a catch 22 – If you want to study at uni you need the money to buy books and pay rent and food and go to the doctors and just live, so you work a lot but when you work a lot you don't have time to go to uni or study for uni, so your grades begin to fail and it looks like you might not pass your courses, so you cut back your hours and fit some more study in, but then its harder to make rent so you get stressed and the fear of living on the streets forces you back to work everyday and you tell yourself that the basic essentials are shelter food and water and that education can come later, except that education is the way out of poverty, and you learnt that at uni, so you should just try try try to get this degree and don't give up just yet, just get through one more semester and it won't last forever and one day you will graduate.

Thanks to Pinnacle, that 'one day' is looking a lot more possible today, then it was a year ago. Why don't you better your odds? Put yourself in a better position. Make a Choice, to apply for a scholarship. Take a Chance that it might get accepted. Take the steps to Change your situation. Apply for a Pinnacle Scholarship today.

By Ashleigh Scriven

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