The Sisters of Charity Foundation provides a unique Tertiary Scholarship Program specifically for young people who have lived in out-of-home care and are financially disadvantaged.
Some of these young people face serious disadvantage, having had a very traumatic start to life that might include multiple foster care or group home placements. It is a sad reality that less than 3% of young people who live in foster care, group homes or other out-of-home-care arrangements have the opportunity to attend university, compared to approximately 40% of young people in the general population. Many become caught in a cycle of disadvantage and lose access to both education and much-needed learning support.
The Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship Program is the only scholarship program in Australia that targets this growing group of young people, now estimated to be more than 40,000 nationally.
Making tertiary education possible
Financial support is provided so that scholarship recipients can afford study expenses such as textbooks, and also the cost of living on their own with no parental support. It means they can study without needing to hold down multiple jobs at the same time.
Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarships are currently in place at The University of Queensland, The University of Sydney, Australian Catholic University, The University of Notre Dame, Western Sydney University, the University of NSW, The University of Melbourne, and Deakin University. We also have TAFE scholarship students at the following NSW locations: Eora, Petersham, and Randwick; and The Gordon in Geelong, Victoria.
Shantell Bennett, a recipient of a Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship at ACU, is now two years into her Bachelor of Nursing. She explains, “Never in a million years would I have had the opportunity to attend university without this amazing scholarship. Foster children often don’t have anyone cheering for them and they are looked upon as burdens to society. Sisters of Charity Foundation Tertiary Scholarship recipients have the opportunity to break stereotypes for other young adults like me who are labeled a ‘foster child’ and thought of in a negative way. I am so happy that other young people will be able to also have this very real opportunity to turn their lives around.”
Take a look at some of the inspiring stories of our scholarship recipients: