Helping others is imbedded into Stephanie Bird's way of life and now her dedication has been recognised with a CQUniCares GWI Scholarship to help her continue her studies with CQUniversity.
The scholarship' awarded by Brisbane-based information technology consultancy firm' GWI' is valued at $5000' with two CQUniversity students receiving the scholarship each year.
As a single mother of three' Stephanie has always put her family's needs above her own. She said finding the time and money to undertake study of any form has been challenging' but now with her children at school' Stephanie is on a mission to help others through completion of a Bachelor of Science (Criminology and Psychology).
"Receiving this scholarship has been such a blessing. It means I don't have to worry about finding the money to pay for textbooks and school supplies'" she said.
"At the end of my first year' if there is any money left' I can also pay my student contribution and not have that as a debt when I finish my degree."
Stephanie said she chose to study with CQUniversity after a conversation with a friend who was participating in the Skills for Tertiary Education Preparatory Studies (STEPS) program.
"My oldest son has an intellectual disability and epilepsy while my youngest has mild ADHD and severe anxiety' so I needed to find an institution that supported flexible learning'" Stephanie explains.
"I feel very supported at CQU. There have been challenges' especially with COVID-19 lockdowns and trying to home school three children while also studying myself' but I have always completed my studies' even if I required and extension or two."
"Having to defer the start of my Bachelor from Term one to Term two this year was devastating but the University made it simple and even the scholarship team were kind enough to defer my scholarship."
"CQU makes you feel like a person and that they want to help you succeed. The other students are extremely supportive and help build each other up."
Stephanie aspires to become a specialist psychologist to help minority groups and individuals feeling isolated for their preferences in life.
GWI Managing Partner and CEO Neil Makepeace said "The GWI team is immensely proud to support Stephanie in her studies at CQUniversity."
"We know that Stephanie has faced many challenges yet has shown great determination and resilience to overcome them as a busy student' mother and volunteer."
"In GWI' we are doing our part to put an end to domestic' family and sexual violence and gender inequality' to enable lives of participation and opportunity for people with disability."
The CQUniCares Scholarship program changes lives and CQUni is grateful to partner with organisations like GWI who share the University's passion for making a difference in the lives of our students' their families and our communities.