Tell us a little about your journey and how you became involved with The Pinnacle Foundation.
I grew up in a Catholic community in Southern Tasmania where it very much felt like I was the only gay in the village. It was an area that was very homogenous with little diversity, and very few opportunities. I knew I wanted to leave to pursue my ambitions, but very few people in my area go to the mainland for university and it is an expensive thing to do. I found Pinnacle online and was blown away that such a thing could exist and determined to be a part of the Pinnacle community.
What have you gained from being part of the Pinnacle program so far?
The biggest gain from Pinnacle without a doubt is the network of people you are introduced to. I went from knowing very few LGBTIQ+ people my age to having a fantastic group of diverse people on my side. The mentors and other community members help ‘light the spark’ and show us all what’s possible. It has been so inspiring to see what we as a community can do.
What has your experience with your mentor been like?
My mentor is fantastic and having that relationship has been life changing. Growing up I did not know any women in my area who had a university degree aside from my teachers. Having a role model to support and encourage and show me what it looks like to be a professional woman has been amazing. My mentor encourages and supports my studies which has been so helpful, she introduces me to people in many fields with different interests who have given me insight into possible paths forward. She also provides solid emotional support, I have never had a non judgemental, unconditionally supportive person in my life and it has hugely helped my ability to ask for advice, or ask questions in general to know she will not judge me.
What advice would you give to a young person who is thinking about applying for The Pinnacle Foundation Scholarship Program?
Definitely apply! Young LGBTIQ+ people are so lacking in mentors and role models of how to be a successful queer adult, having one is so powerful. Pinnacle will change your life, it’s so much more than a scholarship it’s an instant community to lean on.