First Student to Graduate from the Sisters of Charity Foundation Scholarship Program
Amber Boatman the first student to graduate from the Sisters of Charity Tertiary Scholarship Program for young people who have lived in out-of-care received a Bachelor of Laws from The University of Notre Dame, Sydney on the 17th December 2014.
Amber Boatman is an inspiration and a leader. Growing up with her two brothers in a single parent family with a mother who battled drug and alcohol addiction meant her early life was challenging and unstable. She went to 7 different primary schools, moved house several times and when her mother died of an overdose she was placed in foster care. Tragically she was separated from her brothers who went to separate foster homes - a sad reality for many siblings entering the foster care system.
Such a traumatic start in life can often lead to compromised educational outcomes. In fact, less than 3% of young people who have been in out-of-home care will go onto any form of higher education compared to around 40% of the general population.
But intelligence, hard work and financial support from the Sisters of Charity Foundation Scholarship Program has enabled Amber to beat the odds. Amber is now a graduate from The University of Notre Dame, Sydney with a Bachelor of Laws and on the way to fulfilling her dream of becoming a lawyer. She currently works part-time at the Aboriginal Legal Service.
Since the beginning of 2012 the Sisters of Charity Foundation has offered university scholarships to disadvantaged young people who have lived in out-of-home care. It is the only scholarship that particularly targets this growing group of young people, now estimated to be more than 40,000 nationally. There are currently nine scholarships spread across The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The University of Melbourne, The Australian Catholic University and The University of Notre Dame, Sydney.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation scholarship program is growing with another scholarship becoming available at The University of Western Sydney in 2015.
This is what one of our Scholarship recipients, Shantell, has to say about our program:
"Receiving the Sisters of Charity Scholarship has made university and achievable goal. I was placed in foster care from a young age and I have lived independently since the age of 16. This scholarship will help me fast track my path to become a registered nurse. Whilst I would not change my life, the scholarship helps me to bridge the gap between what others have had, living with their parents, and what I have had, in having to support myself. Being a recipient of this scholarship will also benefit my six siblings. This will show them that goals and dreams are achievable. I would love the opportunity to break the stereotypes about young adults like myself, who are labelled “foster children” and have low educational outcomes. I want to prove to everybody, as well as to myself, that I am capable and determined…"
"I was born in a single parent family, my mum was a drug and alcohol abuser and when I was nine years old she died. I went into foster care and I was lucky to have a successful foster care experience. I stayed with my foster careers through the whole of high school. In my early life I did not think about University, I am the first one from my family to go. Education is so important & without the scholarship I am so limited, not only in terms of coming to university and paying for fees and texts, the scholarship also provides emotional support and it gives me a sense of pride. In this society education really is an important part of success and I would like to once again thank the Sisters of Charity Foundation and all the donors for this scholarship that will allow me to have a better future."
"When I lived with my mother we moved around a lot and school wasn't important, I missed school for a whole year and we were chased by social worker demanding to know why I wasn't attending school. Having the Sisters of Charity scholarship has given me the support and time to concentrate on university and to immerse myself in university life. I would like to thank the donors of the scholarship, as it is the generosity of these people that has given me the opportunity to experience a life, which I thought for myself, was not possible. I am looking forward to the coming years and to the opportunities and experience that I am sure to be faced with being a recipient of such a scholarship."
The University of Notre Dame
Media Release - Scholarship Student Looks to Future with Hope
Sisters of Charity Foundation
The Sisters of Charity Tertiary Scholarship Program commenced in 2012 and we now have students studying at The University of Melbourne, The University of Sydney, The University of Queensland, The Australian Catholic University and The University of Notre Dame, Sydney. The generosity of our supporters will enable us to expand the places and universities our scholarships are available. The scholarships are open to young women and men who have lived in out-of-home care and are financially disadvantaged. The scholarships are designed to be very flexible and support students in their chosen field of study.
Sadly, there are around 50,000 young people in Australia who cannot live at home safely, through no fault of their own. The vast majority have been badly let down by the people they should have been able to love and trust the most - their parents. For many, their early years have been traumatised by violence, physical and emotional abuse, severe neglect and the effects of their parents' drug and alcohol abuse. As a result, most of these young people have never been encouraged or supported to attempt higher education. In fact only 2.8% of young people who have lived in an out-of-home care setting such as foster care, group homes and kinship care attempt any form of higher education compared to around 41% of the general population.
We are determined to turn that around by continually developing and expanding our tertiary scholarship program. We believe this particular group of young people deserve a second chance in life. Education is the key to breaking the cycle of poverty. It enables a young person to build a fulfilling career and make a contribution to the community in which they live. By influencing one life we can influence many.
Your donation will help give a capable and motivated young person a life-changing experience.
Amber's Story - Click Here
Renee's Story - Click Here
Jessie's Story - Click Here
Ellen's Story - Click Here
To view the transcript of the Chairman's speech
given at the Australian Catholic University
The Foundation has now formalized our partnership with the University of Notre Dame with the announcement of the commencement of the Sisters of Charity Foundation Scholarships. To view the Media Release Click here
For more information please contact:
Sisters of Charity Foundation
Level 7, 35 Grafton Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Phone: 02 9367 1211