Our house had been blown up.

Aisha and her family are refugees from war torn Iraq. She has witnessed and experienced more violence and hardship then any young person should. Her family fled Iraq because it was too dangerous to live and are now Australian citizens. Aisha is one of six children and shares a bedroom with her three sisters. During exam times, she studies in her garage so that the light doesn’t disturb her family while they sleep. Aisha has used her scholarship to pay for uniforms and maths tutoring. She is making the most of the opportunities that the Scholarship has provided her and one day hopes to be a biologist.

I had nothing going for me.

Emily was struggling at school and achieving a D average but her teachers could see her potential. She is from a single parent household with an abusive estranged father and a brother who has been diagnosed with behavioural disorders. Her teachers convinced Emily to apply for a scholarship and when she received the scholarship she began to believe that she could do well. She dedicated her efforts towards her school work and she is now an A grade student who topped her Year Level in Maths. She now has aspirations to study law at university.

I work to help my family survive.

Jessica’s father has motor neurone disease and her Mum cares for him fulltime. She is a strong student and a great role model to young women at her school. Despite the emotional and financial stress that her family face, she is determined to achieve strong results at school to one day go to university and become a journalist. When her father was diagnosed with motor neurone disease their family lost two incomes overnight. Jessica also works part time to contribute to the family’s financial situation and the cost of her schooling. The Harding Miller Education Foundation has provided her with the tools that she needs to focus on school and excel in her classes.

My children and I were left living on God’s grace.

Michelle had done everything she could to build a good life for her children. She had a degree and an exemplary career. Then she developed rheumatoid arthritis and her husband walked out. With her children, she was left unable to work and with no income. Since being awarded the scholarship, her daughter Georgia has been promoted to the academic program, which is notoriously hard to get into. It has been a huge boost to her education. She now has a school jumper for winter and shoes that don’t have holes in them. The biggest difference was her new laptop and internet connection. The scholarship has given her equal footing with other students from wealthier homes but more than that, it has given her the confidence that she needs to strive for better grades.

I had to take my children to escape domestic violence.

When Jennifer took her children from the family home she had no job, no money and no control. Her children’s schooling was disrupted while they re-established themselves. Despite these difficult times and ongoing financial strain her daughter has shown great determination to excel at school, especially in maths. For Jennifer, the Harding Miller Education Foundation Scholarship has given her daughter the support she needs to develop into the adult that she knows she would want to be.