Hue Man Dang’s life was changed when she got involved with the Western Chances Scholarship program.
The program offers scholarships to students across Melbourne’s west to help them with their studies.
Ms Dang first received a scholarship in 2013 and has received one every year since as she has gone from high school to university.
“In high school, I was nominated by my psychology teacher and welfare co-ordinator,” she said.
“I hadn’t ever heard about the program before that, so I was so honoured when she put up my name up for it and helped me through the application process.
“Western Chances isn’t just about the monetary support for me, it is a recognition of my potential as a young person to be able to be an achiever.
“The belief that Western Chances places within me motivates me to continue on my journey because I know that I’m not alone.”
Ms Dang, the 2019 Brimbank young citizen of the year, has used the scholarship to help buy textbooks and Myki tickets.
She has also been able to use the scholarship to engage in a range of self-development opportunities.”
According to Western Chance, almost half of its scholarship recipients over the past three years have come from Brimbank.
Brimbank council added $30,000 for the program to its budget for each of the next three years to help the program continue to help students.
Western Chances chief executive Zac Lewis said the funding from the council was vital, especially after the impact of COVID-19.
“COVID has a huge impact on young people, particularly in the west,” he said.
“Remote learning was difficult for many, struggling to find quiet places and having laptops and the internet.
“The demand for scholarships is up 10 per cent on the previous 12 months. It’s been hard for us to raise funds.”
Mr Lewis said the council funding is a great way to support young people in the community.
Mayor Ranka Rasic said council is pleased to increase its support of the program.
“Western Chances does excellent work in our community supporting disadvantaged young people with their education expenses.”