Royal Agricultural Society of NSW Foundation (RASF) rural scholarships have taken financial pressure off two young women from Dubbo who want to return to it as doctors.
Swastika "Swazi" Sharma, a 2018 graduate of Dubbo College Senior Campus and currently studying for a Bachelor of Medical Sciences at Sydney's Macquarie University, lost her part-time job because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Her $6000 scholarship is going towards the likes of textbooks and rent for on-campus accommodation.
"I'm very grateful to the foundation because I honestly don't think I would have been able to do this year, my second year, without its support," the 19-year-old student told the Daily Liberal.
Ms Amos, 22, graduated from St John's College Dubbo in 2015 and is in her third year of the Bachelor of Medical Science and Doctor of Medicine at the University of Newcastle.
She says "studying medicine is literally a full-time job" but has worked up to two part-time jobs to make ends meet.
Ms Amos was emotional when told she was among 73 RASF rural scholars in 2020, 21 of them from the central West and Orana regions.
At the time her car needed major repairs and the laptop she had used since Year 10 was "incredibly slow".
The first instalment of her $6000 scholarship got her back on the road and a new laptop.
"I think I nearly cried when the lady on the phone told me I had got it, " Ms Amos said. "I'm truly grateful."
Both Miss Sharma and Ms Amos have their hearts set on working as doctors in Dubbo.
After Miss Sharma finishes her first degree, she intends to apply to the University of Sydney to study medicine.
"Its students do rural placements in Dubbo at the School of Rural Health," she said. "I want to finish it off there and hopefully work as a doctor in Dubbo ".
Born in Nepal and raised in Lightning Ridge and Dubbo, she wants to "come back and give back to the community".
Ms Amos, whose mother Joanne is in the final and fifth year of the same course as her daughter, is keen to help underprivileged communities in the bush.
"The disparities in health between rural and remote communities and metropolitan areas is horrible considering we live in a developed country," she said.
Though the scholarships, the RASF is helping inject "new skills back into rural areas".
RASF manager Cecilia Logan said they were designed to give students the "freedom to study without the stress and financial challenges brought about by the need to relocate".