A letter from a young carer

We recently received a very moving letter from a young carer who was a recipient of the Susan Fincham Young Carer Bursary. This bursary supports students, past and present, who care for an immediate family member. Here is an excerpt from the letter.

Dear Susan, 

There were many times when I felt as though I was alone on my journey. It was very alienating when I saw everyone carrying on with life as though nothing had happened, even though my world had been rocked to its core. More than anything, the bursary’s greatest value was in how it reminded me that there were people who believed in me. Along with the outstanding pastoral care of my school’s wellbeing team, your support meant that I was never alone. I was extremely determined to make it through the end of the year to complete my VCE. Under no circumstances was I going to withdraw, as it would be the last thing that my dad would have wanted me to do. I want to thank you for giving me that motivational push that helped me make my dad proud.

The monetary aid of the Scholarship significantly improved my educational journey throughout the year. Having access to a computer drastically increased my productivity and cut back on my study time. This allowed me to spend more time with my family and complete the menial tasks required for upkeep of our household in lieu of my mum, given her medical problem. To this day, I still cherish this gift at university, for it continues to remind me of my privileged access to an educational amenity that many take for granted. Towards the end of the year, another obstacle that the Scholarship helped me overcome was transport costs of travelling to and from medical interviews. One thing I believe in is equality of opportunity, and the scholarship certainly provided me with that; it gave me the same opportunities as my financially-privileged peers to pursue a place in my dream course.

We would also like to recognise the hard work of the School’s Wellbeing Team, who work tirelessly to support students who need support to realise their full potential.

You can read more about the  the Susan Fincham Young Carer Bursary here

To help us support more students in need make a donation to the Scholarship Trust here

A story of intergenerational philanthropy

Each year the Annual Appeal provides a fantastic opportunity to visit some of our most committed donors. This week we visited Margaret Macdonald in her home. Margaret and her late husband Rod Macdonald have been regular supporters of the Melbourne High School Scholarship Fund for many years.

Margaret said one of the highlights of donating to the MHS Scholarship Fund is receiving letters from the young men she and Rod had assisted.

‘I received a letter from a young man studying dentistry who had a very difficult situation. He thanked me for the donation, saying that he was able to work less to survive, allowing him to continue his studies in dentistry. I was very pleased to hear him say that he would like to do the same for other people when he graduated.’ – Margaret Macdonald

According to Margaret, her late husband Rod had a similar story to the students that she has been assisting through her generous donations. As a student, he had benefitted from a travel scholarship that helped launch his career. This experience inspired him to generously support students in need through donations to the Scholarship Fund.

Rod attended Melbourne High School in 1938 and 1939. After the war he graduated from RMIT with an Architectural degree and joined A S & RG Eggleston. In 1954 it became Eggleston, Macdonald & Secomb, and in 1983 Eggleston Macdonald. The practice was responsible for many great buildings of the post-war era, with Macdonald as chief designer. One of our favourites is the landmark Robert Menzies Building at Clayton Campus, Monash, pictured above.

If you would like to help this generation of students to achieve in every aspect of their lives, donate to the Scholarship Fund in this year’s Annual Appeal.

How the Scholarship Fund helped Tom get the counselling he needed

After his father died and his mother was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, Tom took on the role of key family carer, often missing school and falling behind with classwork. Tom developed anxiety and depression and dropped out of school for a period of time.

The MHS Wellbeing department continued to support him and he eventually agreed to undertake counselling with external professionals. He was awarded an MHS Student Carer Scholarship which enabled him to meet the costs of counselling and also helped fund driving lessons, enabling him to take his mother to appointments.

With financial assistance and strong support from his Student Learning Coordinator, class teachers and the Wellbeing department, Tom was able to complete a modified academic load and returned to school to successfully complete his VCE.

He is currently hoping to study arts/media at Swinburne or Latrobe University. Tom credits his VCE success to all this support and he is determined to continue to improve his and his mother’s situation.

If you are interested in assisting students in need at Melbourne High School you can DONATE HERE

If you would like to find out more about the numerous MHS scholarships that support students in need CLICK HERE

Helping an ‘old boy’ fulfill his dream of becoming a surgeon

HENRY has benefitted from an Undergraduate Scholarship, having completed his studies at MHS with distinction. He was Dux of his graduating year and wanted to become a surgeon.

After leaving school and enrolling at Melbourne University, he continued to support himself with a modest income from coaching in Chemistry. His supportive mother was suddenly diagnosed with severe cervical spine degeneration, and the family was plunged into financial difficulty, worsening an already difficult situation.

The MHS scholarship has made a significant contribution to his life and  he is well on the way to fulfilling his dreams as a surgeon. He would like to return to MHS and teach Chemistry when he retires!

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