St George Community Housing awards $219,500 to young scholars

7 February 2024

School students from across Sydney were among 278 youths who received a Strive Scholarship last week.

Nearly 300 school students have been awarded more than $200,000 in scholarships, primarily funded by St George Community Housing at a ceremony held at Casula Powerhouse Arts Centre.

During the special ceremony 117 kindergarten to year 6 students were awarded $500 each to put towards the cost of their studies. A further 161 year 7 to 12 students received $1,000 each. The annual scholarships are open to students living in the organisation’s 7,000 social and affordable housing properties across Sydney.

About 170 people gathered to celebrate these deserving young students with 12-year-old student, Beryl Allen, giving an Acknowledgement of Country to open the event’s proceedings and a morning filled with entertainment and inspiring messages.

A notable highlight from the day was a moving speech by former SGCH customer, Yasmine Zanzoul, who lived in SGCH properties for nine years and has now moved into private rental accommodation.

She shared her journey and described how receiving three Strive scholarships played a pivotal role in helping her achieve her dream of becoming a teacher.

The Governor of New South Wales, Margaret Beazley AC KC, a patron of SGCH, sent a special message to the children and Liverpool MP Charishma Kaliyanda expressed her gratitude for the support SGCH provides in Western Sydney.

Deicorp Executive Manager – Corporate Communications Rob Furolo presented certificates to the two recipients of an inaugural Fouad Deiri AM scholarship, awarded to students pursuing a career in construction.

The day’s second keynote speaker, entrepreneur Jahin Tanvir, inspired the students with a motivational address, encouraging them to believe in themselves and pursue their dreams. Festivities concluded with a vibrant Chinese lion dance that captivated the crowd as everyone enjoyed lunch.

The atmosphere of the day was joyful, with parents expressing gratitude for the Strive scholarships. One Bonnyrigg Estate parent said: “The kids woke up this morning and said they wanted to go back to yesterday – they really got a lot out of Strive and I feel very blessed to have the opportunity to see them bloom.”

Another parent shared that the scholarship meant her daughter was excited to start Year 4, as the family could now afford a new school bag and a pair of school shoes.

A different parent remarked that the scholarship came at a wonderful time, because it enabled her son to replace his failing laptop battery and cracked screen, ensuring he has the tools needed for academic success.

Strive Scholarships are just one component of SGCH’s Housing Plus program, which is all about extending the organisation’s scope beyond tenancy and offering educational and career support to customers.

“Our Strive Scholarship ceremony highlights SGCH’s dedication to nurturing the educational aspirations of the community’s youth,” says Carrie Yang, Housing Plus Manager. “These scholarships not only provide financial support but also inspire hope and belief in a bright future for the students involved.”

Strive is sponsored and supported by Deicorp, Assett Group Services, Phoenix Fire Protection, SR Constructions and Procurement Australia.