Caprice Baillie already has her community at heart, and a new scholarship will help to cement her association with the Timboon, Vic, region.
Ms Baillie, 18, has received a 2022 Powell Legacy Fund school scholarship administered by the DemoDAIRY Foundation.
The 18-year-old will receive $10,000 over the next three years after being accepted into a Bachelor of Primary and Secondary Education at Australian Catholic University in Melbourne.
"It was my top preference, so I was thrilled and keen to get going" she said.
Ms Baillie will use the scholarship to pay her rental bond and help with rent over the next three years.
"I've never lived in Melbourne or been there much so I'm quite nervous, but I've got my accommodation organised only 15 minutes from the uni," she said.
"The scholarship will be a massive help; my parents were very relieved."
Ms Baillie first heard about the scholarship at school and then found out more through her role as a volunteer firefighter with the Timboon Fire Brigade.
Her contribution as a firefighter is the latest in a long history of community contributions, including volunteering at a Christian outreach program in 2019 and in tree planting after the St Patricks Day bushfires and a beach clean-up around Port Campbell and Peterborough.
Ms Baillie was joint captain of the Timboon Demons female football team prior to COVID-19 and has juggled four different part-time jobs to help support her move to university.
Ms Baillie, who grew up in the region and has strong family dairy farming and community connections, plans to return to the Timboon region to teach.
"This will give me the opportunity to give back to my community, through providing education to future students and creating a greater sense of purpose and belonging," she said.
She said the scholarships were great supports for the local community.
"It's unreal that they can support so many local people through these scholarships and I hope to be able to give something back to my community," she said.
"I aspired to do teaching from a young age after having a teacher who left an everlasting impression that helped to shape me into the person I am today.
"Looking back on that year of my life it made me aware teaching is crucial to all aspects of development and since then it's something I've been passionate to reciprocate."
Ms Baillie has recently recovered from COVID after contracting it at New Year's Eve festival.
"Although it was quite infuriating to be housebound, I made the best out of what I had and was thankful l dodged some of the harsher side effects, so I was quite grateful for that on the brighter side of things," she said.
More information about scholarships can be found at https://www.demodairy.com.au/scholarships-and-grants/ or from DDF board member Ian Teese on 0427 358987 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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