A gifted student from Katoomba is among the 70 NSW recipients of a life-changing scholarship worth more than $20,000 to help them stay, and excel, in school.
The scholarships are awarded to high potential girls, who are experiencing low socio-economic circumstances, through the Harding Miller Education Foundation.
Executive director Cara Varian said the foundation's scholarships provide the girls with a new laptop, high speed internet connections, tutoring, career guidance and support to help cover the costs of uniforms, books and school expenses.
"Where these young women have faced barriers, we are offering them a pathway through school and also potentially to university," Ms Varian said.
"These students have the potential to become leaders in their fields and we hope that the scholarship gives them the support they need to understand and achieve that potential."
Nicole Tsahtarlis from Katoomba High School is one of the successful scholarship winners, and said that it will offer real, tangible help.
"I am 14 years old, and I am a proud Wiradjuri woman, descended through my mum's father. I feel that I am quite smart, but I missed a lot of schooling in primary school, so I struggle sometimes when we do work that I have missed out on," Nicole said.
"I want to be the first person in my family to get my HSC and go to university. This scholarship will help with my schoolwork and allow me to catch up on the work that I missed in primary school. I really want to get good grades because education is important to me, and this scholarship will help me get the support to achieve my dream of going to university."
Ms Varian said that Nicole was one of 162 scholarships winners across Australia this year, including 70 from NSW.
The Harding Miller Education Foundation scholarship program, established in 2015, provides high-potential Year 9 girls experiencing socio-economic disadvantage with tools and support.
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