University costs continue to rise and students are either deciding to not go to university or are required to compromise their studies as they work to support themselves paying fees and living costs. Recognising the increasing pressure on students the Southern Cross University and its donor partners have now been supporting students financially through their Rising Stars Scholarship program for 16 years.
Jacinta Greenup had been hooked on surfing the moment she rode her first wave as a kid near her Cabarita Beach home and competed World Qualifying Series, alongside her Year 12 studies, in 2015. Though she decided to put aside her surfing while she completed her Bachelor of Occupational Therapy receiving a scholarship as part of the Rising Stars Scholarship program from Twin Towns Services Club, awarded for sporting and academic excellence as well as community involvement, paired with being selected for the University’s Elite Student Athlete Program, Jacinta is bringing both her dreams to life at the same time.
The 20-year-old has competed in the same competition league as big name surfers Steph Gilmore, Tyler Wright and Coco Ho, and plans to re-enter the world of surfing when she completes her degree next year. Jacinta will be the first in her family to complete tertiary study.
‘I am so grateful for how much Twin Towns has helped me out,’ said Jacinta, who was first awarded the scholarship after completing Year 12 at Kingscliff High School.
‘I’ve been able to use the money to pay for accommodation to complete my Occupational Therapy professional placements this year and also to travel and compete in surfing competitions in America including the Supergirl Pro during the first two years of my degree.
‘It’s been easy to focus on uni without the pressure of also having a part-time job while training and competing and I’ve been able to consistently achieve good grades in the degree that I love studying. I want to get my degree first and then travel to pursue my surfing.’
Southern Cross University Pro Vice Chancellor of Engagement Ben Roche said the 2018 round of Rising Stars Scholarships supports 66 new and continuing students across the University’s campuses.
‘Rising Stars Scholarships continue to provide transformational opportunities for our students which is made possible by the generosity and commitment of our donor community,’ Mr Roche said.
‘It is our core values which unite us around our vision, which is anchored in the need to provide students with the opportunity to achieve their potential. As a family with a shared vision for change, we can truly make a difference, just like Jacinta, one student at a time.’
For more information or to become a supporter of the Rising Stars Scholarships program.