Maddi Eveleigh grew up in a regional NSW town with limited opportunities. A University of Sydney scholarship supported her to pursue a medical career and paved the way for her to give back to her community.
Maddi Eveleigh was so determined to pursue a science degree that she sought a job in the local bakery when she was just 13. She knew that saving her own money was the only way she was likely to afford her university dreams.
“Uni was never a given for high school leavers down the coast, so I knew I had to make it happen myself,” says Maddi.
By 17, she had moved to a role at the local pharmacy in her hometown of Moruya. It was at the end of a long shift when she found out about the success of her University of Sydney E12 Early Offer and Scholarship Scheme application.
“I saw an E12 email and my heart raced. I thought, ‘I'm going to pass out’. When I realised I had been successful, it was such a relief, the stress lifted.”
Maddi says the scholarship was her ‘saviour’. It enabled her to confidently move away from home, pay rent and buy items for her studies while she got settled in a big city.
“Without a scholarship, I would have had to find a job straight away, adding to the stress, and it would have been borderline as to whether I would have stuck with uni,” Maddi says. "It also helped to be able to socialise and meet new friends. It all added up to being a happy, thriving person at uni. I'm so grateful.”
Now, Maddi has earned herself a place on the 'wall of fame' at her old high school. She’s a role model for young people there and fields messages about pathways to tertiary study. Her advice is simple; “Don’t be scared because you can do it. Believe in yourself!”
Maddi has even returned to the University and is in her second year of Medicine.
Next year, she plans to take up a placement in one of the University’s regional hospital affiliations in Lismore, Orange or Dubbo.
“I feel privileged to be at RPA and see the cutting-edge of medicine, but I want to see what rural health is and how I can get involved. I owe it to the rural town that raised me.”