It was an exciting day for Dubbo’s Sarah Harvey on Wednesday.
Not only did the 18-year-old pack up her bags and head to the University of Wollongong to begin her studies, Ms Harvey was also awarded a $5000 scholarship.
The scholarship was awarded to Ms Harvey from Ronald McDonald House.
In July 2016, halfway through Year 12, Ms Harvey was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma.
“I had surgery to remove the tumour, so it was an open-heart type surgery and following that I had four rounds of chemotherapy,” she said.
For six months, Ms Harvey was in hospital. Ronald McDonald House was a Godsend, the teenager said.
“Being from Dubbo it was costly to try and find accommodation in areas around Sydney so Having Ronald McDonald House and being eligible for it definitely saved my family a lot of money,” she said.
Ronald McDonald House Orange boardmember Gary Barraclough said the scholarship gave a little bit of support for those who had experienced hardship.
“The families have often been through difficult times and the nice thing for this scholarship for Sarah is that she comes from the country,” he said.
“She had been through some difficult times and her academic results and her resilience just made her stand out, her plans for the future made her stand out as well.”
After bring accepted through early entry into journalism, Ms Harvey took a year off to recover and gain work experience in the field. She’s been in remission for a year and three months.
After receiving her scholarship money on Wednesday, which will be used for accommodation, Ms Harvey drove to her new Wollongong home.
“I’m looking forward to learning a bit more about the different aspects of journalism, definitely the social life as well, and I think just gaining a bot more independence, moving away from home and things like that,” she said.
“I first did work experience at a radio station when I was in year 10 but I started out as a volunteer radio presenter when I was eight years old at a small community station so I think all those different things kind of lead to it. It’s pretty much where I’ve always wanted to go with my career.”
Dubbo College Senior Campus principal Andrew Jones said Ms Harvey was a deserving recipient of the scholarship.
Mr Jones said he fully expected the former student to return to the campus in a few years to inspire others.