The 2023 Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) Charlie Bell Scholarship offers grants of $5,000 to students or apprentices aged 15-20 years who have suffered a serious illness or injury during their childhood.
Students whose education has been affected by serious health issues, and are commencing or continuing tertiary education for 2024, are eligible to apply for the scholarship. Applicants do not need to have stayed at a Ronald McDonald House to be eligible.
There are three scholarships available for Queensland and the Northern Territory regions through the RMHC North Australia and RMHC South East Queensland chapters.
Education Services Manager at RMHC North Australia, Belinda O'Neill, is proud that the Charity can provide this much-needed support for students.
"The RMHC Charlie Bell Scholarship provides young people who have endured serious illness or injury with a scholarship that brings them one step closer to achieving their educational dreams," Ms O'Neill explained.
"These funds can be used towards university or TAFE fees, textbooks, apprentice tools or anything that will further the recipient's education after school."
Since it was first awarded in 2008, many young recipients have benefited from the financial support the scholarship provides.
Will Carland, from Mount Isa, Queensland, was a 2022 recipient of the Charlie Bell Scholarship. Will was diagnosed with leukemia as a young child. As a result, he has been in and out of hospital most of his life, causing him to miss a significant portion of his schooling.
"Missing that much school has made it really hard to keep up, but I am lucky enough to have fantastic support from my teachers and family to get me through," Will explained.
Will is particularly interested in supporting his local community by providing quality medical care.
"I want to give back to my community in the way of being able to provide help for all those who need it, the patient and the family. [I want] to be able to bring my knowledge back to my rural area, to help provide excellent health care to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people."
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