UQ Young Achiever graduates Sarah Oyet, Andrew Luck, Tim Seng, Alisha Vogler and Emily Brown
UQ Young Achiever graduates Sarah Oyet, Andrew Luck, Tim Seng, Alisha Vogler and Emily Brown
19 December 2014

The University of Queensland has celebrated its first UQ Young Achiever graduates this week – and four of the five are the first in their families to attend university.

UQ has welcomed more than 560 Young Achievers since the Program was established in 2009 to support the tertiary study and career aspirations of state secondary school students who might not otherwise have access to university.

The Program focuses on nurturing and developing the educational ambitions of participants through mentoring, financial assistance and opportunities for personal growth and leadership development.

Graduate and UQ Young Achiever Sarah Oyet arrived in Australia from Kenya in 2003 with her family, as refugees from South Sudan.

She has graduated with a Bachelor of Health Science and now plans to study a Masters of Medical Ultrasound 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,” she said.

“Getting into the Young Achievers Program made me start thinking about university and UQ and all the opportunities it had to offer.”

Bachelor of Commerce graduate Tim Seng said graduating gave him a huge sense of achievement.

He will soon start work in a graduate position with an accounting firm in Chinchilla.

“Coming from a small regional school to Brisbane was a big change for me,” he said.

“It [the Program] changed my whole university experience. I feel it has boosted my confidence and I’ve made a wonderful group of friends.”

“I was also able to give back by being a Young Achiever mentor. This was a great feeling because I was able to share my story to help younger students explore university life.”

The five students were recognised at a UQ Young Achiever ceremony on 17 December, attended by Program donors, UQ staff, families and Program mentors.

Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic) Professor Joanne Wright said the ceremony marked a significant milestone that reflected the students’ hard-work, dedication and commitment to their studies and to their role as UQ Young Achievers.

“As our inaugural Young Achiever graduates, the students are role models for others currently in the Program and future participants, but also for their families, students in their former schools and those in their communities,” Professor Wright said.

“The University recognises its responsibility in contributing to an equitable and diverse higher education sector in Australia, and we thank our generous donors who have made this Program possible.”

Many more students from the inaugural cohort of UQ Young Achievers are still studying – completing four-year or dual degrees at UQ. The University will celebrate the graduation of these students and future Young Achiever cohorts in the years to come.

About the UQ Young Achievers Program

Students selected for the Program get $1000 a year in years 11 and 12 to assist with education costs. They attend residential camps at UQ’s St Lucia Campus, are mentored by UQ student volunteers, and are given tailored transition advice and student support services.

Upon the successful completion of Year 12 and the acceptance of an offer at UQ, Young Achievers receive a scholarship of $6000 a year for up to four years while enrolled at UQ.

The UQ Young Achievers Program is jointly funded by UQ and donors.

Media: Communications Coordinator Caroline Bird, 07 3365 1130, c.bird1@uq.edu.au or communications@uq.edu.au.