How winning a scholarship gave Tasha confidence to succeed
Tasha overcame a family tragedy and difficult upbringing to become the first in her family to graduate from university.
Tasha Reynolds knows just how important it is to have people who believe in you. Most young adults lean on their parents for support as they pursue a tertiary education, but for Tasha that wasn’t a possibility. Her father passed away when Tasha was only in Year 7, and she was sent to live with a family friend.
Although she dreamed of university, Tasha was riddled with doubts about her chances. Luckily, she made the decision to apply for a Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship – and her whole mindset changed when she won it.
Finding her footing at university
When Tasha learnt there were people who believed in her a newfound confidence emerged. “I built a sense of purpose that I didn’t know I had within me and my confidence to achieve greater things began to flourish,” she says.
This new outlook served Tasha well as she began a Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine at Western Sydney University. “My key challenges included adjusting to the university lifestyle, organisation and time management reinforcement, finding a work-life-study balance – and the course content,” she says.
But that was nothing compared to practising her newfound skills in real life. “I was able to bring two patients back to life using effective CPR!”
Graduation and looking to the future
In July 2020 Tasha graduated in absentia (via mail) due to COVID-19. “Receiving my certificate lit my soul up,” she says. “I am still in disbelief that I am degree qualified and more importantly, I am a qualified paramedic!”
Tasha is currently job-hunting while working as a disability support practitioner with the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. She is also studying a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), and is considering doing a masters in the near future.
“If you asked me five years ago where I saw myself in five years’ time, I am certain it wouldn’t have been anywhere near where I am today!” she says.
Why is the Sisters of Charity Foundation helping kids in foster care?
Young adults who were unable to grown up safely at home with their birth parents face compromised educational outcomes. Less than 3% of those from out-of-home care backgrounds will go on to any form of higher education, compared to around 40% of young adults in the general population.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program commenced in 2012, and provides financial support so 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. The scholarship gives them a greater chance of focusing on their studies, rather than having to hold down multiple jobs to survive.
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.