About

The primary goal of the Young Achievers Program is to empower senior secondary school students to pursue their academic and career goals. The Program achieves this by providing mentorship, financial support, opportunities for personal growth and leadership development and is underpinned by The University of Queensland values.  Whilst nurturing the educational aspirations of its participants the Young Achievers Program also aims to reduce barriers to education for students experiencing financial hardship and/or educational disadvantage. 

Benefits at high school 

The Young Achievers Program provides a valuable support framework to enable participating
students to realise their potential.

Students selected for the program benefit from:

  • Ongoing mentorship from current university students for the 2 years of Senior school. 
  • On-campus experiences, such as two residential camps held at UQ's St Lucia campus
  • Financial assistance of $1000 per year during Years 11 and 12
  • Scholarship support of up to $7000 per year for up to four years for those who enrol in a UQ undergraduate program after completing Year 12
  • Five ATAR adjustment factors that can help with entry into UQ
  • Assistance with university pathways and application procedures
  • Opportunities for personal growth and leadership development
  • Tailored transition advice and student support services throughout your University journey 

 

Benefits at UQ

Support during university

The Young Achievers Program continues to partner with UQ Student Services to help support students in their transition to university. Hosting catch-ups and events for Young Achievers at UQ ensures that students receive access to support programs and activities on offer through the University.

Accommodation partners

In partnership with donors, UQ residential colleges and local student providers, the program has continued to support students to overcome some of the challenges involved in transitioning from high school to university. 

Students who are successful in gaining entry to the program (along with their families), will be invited to attend a Welcome Event in October. These events will be held in Brisbane, Toowoomba and at Young Achiever Program schools in regional Queensland. During these events, students will have the opportunity to meet other Young Achievers, receive a certificate to acknowledge their selection for the program and be recognised for their leadership potential. Welcome Events also represent a valuable opportunity to learn more about the program and have any questions answered.

University experience

Each year, Young Achievers attend a residential camp held at a UQ residential college on the St Lucia campus. These experiences present a wonderful opportunity for students to become familiar with the university environment, establish supportive social networks and learn more about the range of post-school study options that will best complement their future career ambitions.

In Year 12, student will attend WRIT1999 – Effective Thinking and Writing, an  intensive course offered at UQ St Lucia.  The course aims to help students who demonstrate high academic achievement to improve their critical thinking and writing skills. 

On-campus experiences are an important means of building educational aspirations, establishing mentoring relationships and delivering activities that foster social, academic and personal growth.

Mentoring

Mentoring is critical to the success of the program. Each year passionate and highly enthusiastic UQ students – many of whom are past Young Achievers themselves – generously volunteer their time to serve as role models for the students in the program. These mentors are a valuable source of information, encouragement and friendship for younger students, staying in touch with them throughout their senior school years and helping them to stay on track to achieve their goals.

The program has attracted growing interest among UQ students, who recognise it as an opportunity to give back to the UQ community while enhancing their leadership, employability and communication skills

Access and support

Young Achievers are eligible to receive five adjustment factors to help them secure a place in their preferred UQ program. As well, the students receive transition support to assist with making the move from high school to university. Financial assistance offered throughout the program helps to ease the financial stress on families. In their senior years of schooling, Young Achievers receive an annual bursary of $1000, and students who transition to UQ on completion of Year 12 receive an annual scholarship to the value of $7000 a year, for up to four years.

The Young Achievers program partners with over 50 schools in Queensland, to be eligible for the program, you must be enrolled in one of the following schools: 

Beaudesert State High SchoolIpswich State High SchoolRedbank Plains State High School
Bellbird Park State Secondary CollegeIsis District State High SchoolRockhampton State High School
Boonah State High SchoolKepnock State High SchoolRoma State College Senior Campus
Bremer State High SchoolKingaroy State High SchoolRosewood State High School
Browns Plains State High SchoolKingston State CollegeSt George State High School
Bundaberg North State High SchoolLaidley State High SchoolStanthorpe State High School
Bundaberg State High SchoolLockyer District State High SchoolSunnybank State High School
Bundamba State Secondary CollegeLoganlea State High SchoolTara Shire State College
Charleville State High SchoolLowood State High SchoolToogoolawah State High School
Chinchilla State High SchoolMabel Park State High SchoolToowoomba State High School
Clifton State High SchoolMarsden State High SchoolWarwick State High School
Cunnamulla P-12 State SchoolMiles State High SchoolWilsonton State High School
Dalby State High SchoolMitchelton State High SchoolWoodcrest State College
Forest Lake State High SchoolMurgon State High SchoolWoodenbong Central School
Glenala State High SchoolNanango State High SchoolWoodridge State High School
Glenmore State High SchoolOakey State High SchoolYeppoon State High School
Goondiwindi State High SchoolPittsworth State High SchoolYeronga State High School
Harristown State High School  
Highfields State Secondary College  

The Young Achievers Program aims to support and inspire students during their senior years.

On-campus experiences

While at school, students attend annual residential experience at the St Lucia campus, one in Year 11 and the other in Year 12. The students are highly motivated and eager to expand their knowledge, demonstrating a wholehearted commitment to the program.

Creating community spirit

The Young Achievers enthusiastically embrace the community-service ethos of the program, volunteering their time to undertake an impressive Community Venture Project. The students demonstrate a great sense of civic responsibility by supporting projects in important areas such as the environment, community and youth development, education, animal welfare, health, sport and the arts.

Valuable family support

UQ Open Day is the biggest annual event on UQ’s calendar and is often the first time many Young Achiever families have had an opportunity to visit a university campus, whether virtually or in person. It is a great opportunity for families to seek more specific advice about university pathways, application processes, accommodation options and support services at UQ.

Community Ventures

The Community Ventures are completed by the Young Achievers. The project is undertaken as part of the program, which has significant impacts not only in their schools but also in their local communities.

The most inspired Community Ventures come from Young Achievers whose positive impact benefitted students, parents and community members alike.

Community Ventures at school

Georgia,

Ipswich State High School

Georgia provided healthy and delicious snacks for children in hospital with cancer. Over a two-week period, she visited local businesses, gathering non-perishable items to put into food packs. She then coordinated with a local charity to distribute them. As some of the hospitalised children cannot attend school, Georgia saw this as a wonderful initiative to bring part of school to them. Both she and the patients were overjoyed that she chose this Community Ventures because it provided the children with a sense of normality and gave her a sense of community pride

Community Ventures for the environment

Shelton,

Springfield Central State High School

One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. For Shelton’s Community Ventures, he organised to help friends, family and the wider community to do a spring clean. He decided to collect old belongings that were no longer needed and organised them in the most appropriate way – from donating clothes to charity, to doing tip runs. Shelton said that this provided him with the opportunity to contribute to his community in a way that all can benefit from, and to promote environmentally friendly options for clearing clutter. Shelton learnt that even the smallest of contributions can make a big impact. Helping those unable to tidy up their yards or giving to the less fortunate can greatly help to improve quality of life.

Community Ventures for the community

Shakira,

Bremer State High School

Shakira volunteered to help supervise an NDIS client, as well as organising local activities and outings such as soccer, bowling, arcades and fishing trips. Through this project, she was able to make a difference by helping people reconnect with their local community after the struggles of the pandemic. One of Shakira’s greatest experiences was watching her NDIS client reconnect with the community more with each outing. She also learnt that there is always a way.

Continuous mentoring

Typically, student mentors include half who were previous program participants. This demonstrates that past students are continuing to give back to others by sharing their experiences and inspiring those still at school. Additionally, there has been instances of UQ students who completed volunteering as a student mentor and continue on undertaking the role of senior mentor. This type of continued involvement demonstrates the positive impact the program has on the UQ students involved with mentoring Young Achievers.

Each year, up to 110 Year 10 students from selected state secondary schools across Queensland will be chosen to participate in the Program.

To be considered for the program, students must meet all of the following eligibility criteria:

  • Australian citizen, Australian permanent humanitarian visa holder, New Zealand Special Category Visa, Refugee Visa or Bridging Visa
  • Be ATAR eligible
  • Low-income financial status
  • Demonstrated academic potential and desire to excel at university after finishing Year 12
  • Supportive family environment

Selection of Young Achievers is carried out by a panel comprising University staff and program donors. In addition to the program’s eligibility criteria, the student’s leadership potential and/or demonstrated school and community involvement may also be taken into consideration in the selection process. These criteria will be evaluated based on the documentation requested when submitting an application. 

Students can apply directly to the program and must supply an endorsment letter from a School Representative. Accepted representatives include the School Principal, Deputy Principal, Year Level Coordinator or Guidance officer. 

If successful in being selected for the Young Achievers Program, students and their parents/guardians will be asked to formally accept this place by agreeing to the Program's Terms and Conditions.

 

Shiloh, Young Achiever Program alumnus,

Currently studying a Bachelor of Mechanical Engineering (Honours) at Queensland University of Technology (QUT)

Without the Young Achievers Program and the amazing folks involved, I wouldn’t be pursuing my dream career today. Having completed two years at UQ helped me get the grades I needed to change courses and transfer to my dream degree at QUT. The emotional and academic support provided by the YAP staff, mentors and fellow students has been invaluable to my learning over the last four years. The most important things I have learnt from my time in the YAP program are resilience and perseverance. This especially helped me during my first two years of university – moving away from family and home was difficult and I received encouragement and reassurance from the YAP team, which helped me to get where I am today. The YAP program has changed my attitude towards learning. When I left school, I was absolutely terrified of failure. Through my time in the YAP program, I have learned that failure is not something to be feared, but rather an opportunity to assess my weaknesses and how to overcome them.

 

Tegan,  Young, Achiever Program mentor and scholarship recipient

Third-year Bachelor of Arts/ Education (Secondary) student

The UQ Young Achievers Program (YAP) has given me the invaluable opportunity to go to university – it would not have been possible without their support. YAP understands the obstacles that students from low socio-economic status backgrounds face, and provides them with a chance to pursue tertiary education. The YAP program recognised my potential and gave me the means to pursue my passion – education. I have always wanted to become a teacher and YAP is playing a crucial role in making that dream come true. I’m so grateful for the opportunity to study at a highly recognised institution. The YAP scholarship also assisted me with accommodation, making the transition to university much smoother. I was able to stay in student accommodation and have that immersive university experience. Since becoming a Young Achiever, I have learnt the importance of giving back. My mentors were extremely supportive – they helped me to prepare for university and made sure to answer all of my questions. As a result of the support that YAP has given me, I was fortunate enough to be selected as a mentor and am now volunteering for cohort 11. Giving back to a program that has given me so much is truly rewarding. So many aspects of my life are facilitated by this program and, since joining, I have realised that anything is possible. I love what YAP is doing for people like me.

Jade, Roma State High School

The UQ Young Achievers program is what I call a second family, from the supportive mentors who check up on me every month, to the hundred other UQ mentees who have been with me along this journey. As well as the support team behind the mentors who help organise the program and those who financially support the program, they have all been there to support me during my senior studies. Year 11 and Year 12 can be difficult, and to have this support behind me to help me if I fall is a crucial asset.

 

 

Amber, Charleville State High School

Thank you to the Young Achievers Program for allowing me, and other high school students over the years, to pursue our dream course at university. This program has offered momentous amounts of opportunities through the camps on campus and the monthly phone calls from our mentors. As a result, the mentors have given me personal support to help me during my last two years of high school.