Celebrating the first graduate from the Sisters of Charity Foundation scholarship program
Amber Boatman is the first student to graduate from the Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program for young people who have lived in out-of-home care.
Amber attained a Bachelor of Laws from The University of Notre Dame, Sydney in December 2014, and completed her Practical Legal Training over the summer. She was then offered a highly coveted graduate placement with the NSW Office of Director of Public Prosecutions.
Growing up in foster care
Amber 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 seven 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.
Those living in out-of-home care face many barriers to achieving higher education – frequent school changes, absenteeism, lack of family support, trauma associated with past abuse and neglect, and lower expectations from carers and teachers says La Trobe University senior researcher Naomi Tootell.
In addition, government assistance for foster care kids typically stops at 18. That, Tootell says, contrasts sharply “with the experience of most young people in the general population who stay in the parental home receiving continuous support into their early to mid-20s”.
How is the Sisters of Charity Foundation helping kids in foster care?
It’s no surprise that such a traumatic start in life leads to compromised educational outcomes. In fact, less than 3% of young people who have been in out-of-home care will go on to any form of higher education compared to around 40% of the general population.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program commenced in 2012, and provides financial support so our scholarship recipients can afford study expenses such as course fees and textbooks, as well as the cost of living on their own with no parental support.
Help us change lives with a tertiary scholarship
A tertiary scholarship from the Sisters of Charity Foundation has the power to transform the life of a young person.
Donate today to support our tertiary scholarship program, and help a young person who grew up in out-of-home care reach their full potential.
How we help
Each year we’re able to make a difference to thousands of people across the country with funds generously donated by compassionate Australians. We support initiatives that focus on benefiting the disadvantaged, marginalised and socially isolated people in our community.