Through the Sutton Trust US programme for low income families, Julia Owsianska, 17 has won a scholarship to the University of Rochester in New York to study Biology and potentially Spanish.
Julia is hoping people will support her in her quest to work in diagnostic radiotherapy in the future, as although she achieved 10 Grade 8/9s in her GCSEs and is expected to get A*s and As in her A-Levels, she admits her career path may be limited due to lack of finance.
The former Holy Cross High School student said: “The Sutton Trust helped me towards the scholarship which will cover tuition and housing expenses, however international costs are not covered by this aid.
“These costs will be difficult for myself and my family to cover - both my parents are employed but classed as “unskilled workers”.
“Despite already saving funds towards this education, small “one-time” costs associated with initial travel such as visa, flights and moving in are proving a challenge to fund.
“I am just hoping that I can ease the pressure on my parents and myself and any money donated would make it possible for me to enrich myself with all the opportunities at Rochester.”
Julia, who also helped Cardinal Newman Netball Academy reach the National Finals this year, did not let her financial circumstances deter her ambitions as once Sutton Trust presented her with Rochester, she knew it was where she wanted to go, especially after speaking to admissions officers and doing interviews.
She explained: “I love the accessibility of research there, as it is a Tier 1 research university, that it has an open curriculum and I can study anything I want for the first two years before I choose a major/minor.
“My favourite thing though is the community, which I have already been made to feel a part of and I can’t wait to get involved in the school spirit.”
With a particular passion for Biology, Julia also wants to help others, especially from low income families, achieve their STEM (Science Technology, Engineering and Maths) dreams, after experiencing how difficult it is herself.
Julia, who credits her Holy Cross science teacher Mrs Frodham for fostering her love for Biology, said: “I have felt though that STEM was limited to me because I had to work very hard to find opportunities in science to better myself, which are easily available to students in private schools.
“Funding is usually a barrier and it means that lower income students are prevented from accessing areas of STEM and therefore there is less progression into higher education.”
“I would love to pursue internships in radiology and I am particularly ambitious in creating more freedom for low income students in STEM.
“I have had personal limitations in access to STEM and would utilise my time at Rochester and beyond to make a difference for young adults like myself!”
You can visit Julia’s gofundme page here.