TOP MARKS: SCU graduates were honoured for their achievements at this week’s Rising Stars Scholarship in Coffs Harbour.
TOP MARKS: SCU graduates were honoured for their achievements at this week’s Rising Stars Scholarship in Coffs Harbour. Trevor Veale

Students get a step ahead

APPLY for any scholarships you can and don't stress about your university choices - that's the advice from Natalie Roder for this year's cohort of Year 12 students.

Natalie, who finished Year 12 at Coffs Harbour High School last year, is now studying a Bachelor of Nursing and is the recipient of the 2015 Vice-Chancellor's Scholarship, presented at Southern Cross University's Coffs Harbour campus on Thursday.

Vice-Chancellor's Scholarships are awarded to students with outstanding academic achievement, based on their senior school studies.

"I always planned on staying in Coffs Harbour. This is where my family is and I was really glad I could find something I wanted to do here," Natalie said.

"My advice to anyone in Year 12 is not to stress about having a definite answer as to what you want to do.

"I ended up changing courses and it wasn't a hassle at all - there's always a chance."

The Pisan Saran Scholarship was awarded to Courtney Mobbs, who moved from Taree to study a Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Education (Secondary).

For Abbey Browning, the pathway to university was not as straightforward.

"I am a qualified baker, I was in the army for a while, I worked as a governess at a remote station in South Australia and I've travelled all over the world," she said.

"I'd always had an interest in studying nursing but was really daunted by the academic side of study."

After returning to her home town of Coffs Harbour, Abbey decided it was time to follow her dream of becoming a nurse. But she didn't jump in the deep end.

"I enrolled in North Coast TAFE's Certificate III in Aged Care and Certificate III in Nursing and it really prepared me to study at uni," she said.

"I was actually awarded the North Coast TAFE student of the year - this gave me the confidence I needed to enrol in SCU's Bachelor of Nursing course."

Abbey received the North Coast TAFE Pathways Scholarship, which is awarded to a high-achieving TAFE student who transitions to SCU.

The Rising Stars Scholarships are worth more than $250,000.



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