The first cohort of the UQ Young Achievers Program are closer to their dreams, graduating to join our ranks of esteemed alumni.

The Young Achievers Program is an exciting initiative that supports the tertiary study and career aspirations of senior school students who may otherwise not have access to university after school. Mentoring, financial assistance and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development provide a valuable support framework, enabling students to realise their potential.

Sarah Oyet (Bachelor of Health Sciences, ’14) who arrived in Australia in 2003 as a refugee from South Sudan, feels extremely fortunate to have been selected for the program. Having completed her undergraduate studies, Oyet now plans to study postgraduate medical imaging at UQ, with the goal of eventually becoming a medical doctor.

“I’ve always been interested in the human body, and studying health sciences has brought me closer to realising that I would like to study medicine,” said Oyet.

The Young Achievers Program provides an opportunity for students to work as mentors with new Young Achievers through Years 11 and 12 and during the school-touniversity transition process. Mentors advise students about university options, pathways and application procedures, as well as study and career planning, and encourage participants to have self-confidence and set personal and educational goals.

Program participant Tim Seng (Bachelor of Commerce, ’14) has shown reciprocity in becoming a mentor and sharing his experience with younger students.

“It has been a great feeling giving back by being a Young Achiever mentor, because I have been able to share my story to help younger students explore university life.

“The program has changed my whole university experience. I feel it has boosted my confidence and I’ve made a wonderful group of friends,” said Seng.

Students chosen for the program benefit not only from mentor support, but also financial assistance, including $1000 annually towards the educational costs of Year 11 and 12, and $6000 annually once they enrol at UQ.

The Young Achievers Program was established in 2009 through an endowment from Wotif.com co-founder Andrew Brice AM, with more than 560 students participating to date.