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Candice finally feels supported after scholarship win

Thirty-year-old Candice was shocked when she received a life-altering phone call from TAFE Queensland delivering news that she was a scholarship recipient.

The Gold Coast single mother-of-two received a $5,000 TAFE Queensland Scholarship to help cover costs towards studying a vocational education course of her choice.

“To hear those words was such a relief and a nice surprise, I finally felt like I was being heard and supported,” she said.

“A lot of the time I don’t apply for these things as I never expect to get noticed because there are so many others doing it tough so to be successful was a shock and took a huge weight off my heavy shoulders.”

Candice is now six months into her Diploma of Nursing (HLT54115) at the Southport campus and said it has been the most rewarding experience and has changed the course of her life.

“My father died when I was 17-years-old after a long battle with cancer which took a huge toll on me and I lost any desire to attain higher education so I worked in various jobs that didn’t spark any joy,” she said.

“I then had my daughter at 25-years-old followed by my son two years later and found it financially very difficult to return to work as the travel and childcare fees outweighed my wage."

“At thirty, I found myself a single mother, out of the workforce and living in less than ideal circumstances trying my best to provide for my beautiful young children."

“Now, thanks to TAFE Queensland, I am on the path to a fulfilling and respected career for myself that I can be proud of and demonstrate to my children that no circumstances or losses define you or cement your path.”

Financially, Candice said the scholarship money has helped pay for essential study items and travel expenses.

“So far the money has helped me to afford the uniform which includes scrubs and shoes for residential school, as well as setting up a decent study nook at home so I have all I need.”

“Any left over money has helped me ensure my vehicle is serviced and reliable so I know I can get to residential school and placements without any travel issues.”

The TAFE Queensland Scholarship Program first launched in 2015 and has since awarded over $1.4million; helping more than 300 Queenslanders like Candice pursue their career goals.

To anyone thinking about applying for this year’s TAFE Queensland Scholarship Program, Candice said to "go for it" and to be authentic in your application.

“What do you have to lose, they can’t accept you if you don’t apply and my biggest tip for writing the application is so be completely honest with your background and struggles.”

Upon graduating in July 2021, Candice hopes to work in various areas of nursing before going on to university to become a Registered Nurse.

“I have already completed some work placement and I can say to have that real world hands-on experience so early on in the diploma has been monumental in strengthening my career direction and enthusiasm to go onto complete a Bachelor of Nursing when I graduate,” she said.

Scholarship recipients can choose to study at any TAFE Queensland campus and enrol into qualifications from a certificate III through to Advanced Diploma level across various industries including business, creative, health, hospitality, information technology, trades and many more.

With an average of 600 applications received each year, anyone looking to start their career or make a career change is encouraged to apply now.

Applications for a TAFE Queensland scholarship to commence study in semester one, 2021 are now open opened and close on 27 August 2020.