Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle Foundation.
I grew up in a country town which is a notoriously unfriendly place to grow up if you are gay. My home life during this time wasn’t great and I was bullied and harassed at school. Due to this, I tried to avoid school as much as I could and when there I found it hard to care as I didn’t think I would even live to see any benefits.
Once I left school I started to realise that life would get better for me and one way I could do that was through my study. I threw everything into my study, but it was very stressful as I had to work every moment I wasn’t at university. Despite this I did better than I ever expected and filled with a newfound pride in my grades I applied for a Pinnacle Foundation scholarship after googling “Gay scholarships”. I was lucky enough to be chosen and have been part of the Foundation now for two years.
What have you gained from being part of the Pinnacle program so far?
The financial help has been amazing. I can finally afford to buy my medication on a regular basis, and I replaced my very slow laptop with a brand new one. If I need a textbook or need to buy a program for a class, I no longer need to worry about how I will buy it. This has been a huge weight off my shoulders.
Pinnacle has also given me a community that I wish I had growing up. My fellow scholars and other members of the Foundation offer such a wonderful support and make me feel so welcome.
What has your experience with your mentor been like?
I really appreciate my mentor who is always happy to listen to my ideas and provide another angle to my problems when it comes to my degree and career path.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about applying for The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship Program?
Please don’t look at yourself and wonder if you are good enough for The Pinnacle Foundation. Don’t discount your life experiences or your grades or compare yourselves to others. The Pinnacle Foundation has a way of seeing the amazing qualities in people that you might not see yet. I urge any young person who is a member of the LGBTIQ+ community as the sense of community and support is absolutely priceless.