August 19, 2021

Alcoa employees encourage students to aspire to university life

20210811_UWA_Aspire_WDHS_CatherineStoneWanting to share their passion for science and support students at a critical time in their career journey is why Alcoa employees volunteered at university discovery sessions for Waroona and Harvey students during National Science Week (14-22 August).

Willowdale Bauxite Mine employees Catherine Stone, Scott Hansen and Gary Johnson volunteered at sessions at Waroona District High School and Harvey Senior High School this week.

During the sessions, conducted by not-for-profit group Aspire UWA, the trio shared their study and career stories in a bid to encourage more local students to consider a tertiary education.

Catherine, a Waroona local and geologist, said she enjoyed exploring different aspects of university life with the students and helping them refine their career and study aspirations.

“Over the last 20 years I have had many varied amazing experiences and wanted to be able to pass this on to any students that may feel uncertain about what path to take, much like how I was at high school,” Catherine said.

“Already having a close relationship with the school and the students, I think it was beneficial for them to see someone they knew and were familiar with in a different light and to see all the different pathways that a career in science could take you.”

The sessions guide students in their subject selection for years 11 and 12 while also demystifying the university entrance ranking process and other considerations when thinking about university such as accommodation, scholarships and alternative entry pathways.

Alcoa, through funding from its global charity the Alcoa Foundation, has been supporting the delivery of the Aspire UWA program since 2016 across 14 high schools in the Kwinana, Peel and Upper South West regions. The partnership aims to address the region’s low educational attainment levels and high youth unemployment rate.

Participating schools include Mandurah Baptist College, Byford Secondary College, John Tonkin College, Gilmore College, Frederick Irwin Anglican School, Foundation Christian College, Halls Head College, Pinjarra Senior High School, Harvey Senior High School, Waroona District High School, Coodanup College and Mandurah Catholic College.

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