Re­ward for fac­ing up to ad­ver­sity

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Scholarships - Mi­landa Rout

LIFE can throw chal­lenges at you, as Daniel James knows only too well. The 27- year- old Monash Univer­sity hon­ours stu­dent dropped out of his arts de­gree in 2002 af­ter go­ing through a rough time with his fam­ily.

‘‘ We had a sui­cide in the fam­ily at the end of my Year 12 and it hit me pretty hard,’’ he says.

‘‘ My mum was also go­ing through to­tal re­nal fail­ure and it just made it re­ally dif­fi­cult to stay at univer­sity.’’

But James was given a sec­ond chance when he reap­plied and was awarded Monash’s in­au­gu­ral Homer le Grand Schol­ar­ship, which recog­nises peo­ple who have over­come per­sonal hard­ship to con­tinue their stud­ies.

The schol­ar­ship, named af­ter

a for­mer dean of arts, pays stu­dents $ 2000 for univer­sity ex­penses.

‘‘ It has made an ab­so­lutely huge dif­fer­ence,’’ he says.

‘‘ My wife is sup­port­ing us while I am study­ing, so the $ 2000 has been an enor­mous help.

‘‘ It has helped me get a lot of text­books as well as pay­ing for gen­eral univer­sity ex­penses.’’

James is now study­ing his hon­ours in arche­ol­ogy and plans to ob­tain his PhD be­fore work­ing in Egypt.

‘‘ I am thrilled that I have been given the op­por­tu­nity to go back and that I have done so much bet­ter,’’ he says.

‘‘ I feel that I’ve shown what stu­dents who over­come ad­ver­sity dur­ing their first years at univer­sity can ac­com­plish when they truly mo­ti­vate them­selves.’’

Mo­ti­va­tion: Daniel James, an hon­ours stu­dent in arche­ol­ogy at Monash Univer­sity, who re­ceived a $ 2000 grant

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