Second scholarship awarded

The Catenian Charity Inc. has awarded its second scholarship of $5,000 to a young lady, Karri Thomas who is studying at Aquinas College in Adelaide. Aged 19, she qualifies for a scholarship due to her financial circumstances.

       The inaugural Catenian Charity scholarship of $5,000 was awarded at the beginning of 2018 to Ashleigh Habkouk who is reading Biomedical Science at the University of Notre Dame, Fremantle Campus. The search for a second recipient began Australia-wide with the second round of applications closing on 3 October 2018.

       Karri’s application was vetted by the Charity’s Scholarship Master and unanimously recommended by the three members of the Catenian Charity selection panel. Their views are set out hereunder:

“Karri is an amazing young person with envious school and first year University academic performances. I recommend that Karri be awarded a scholarship based on her obvious needs, her outstanding academic record, potential and necessitous circumstances.”

“Karri ticks all the boxes. She is highly motivated, smart and a worthy applicant.”

“Karri has demonstrated commitment to her studies and a strong will to succeed academically despite her financial need and, more recently, her cancer diagnosis. I highly recommend her as the recipient of the scholarship.”

       Karri was born in June 1999 and grew up on a sheep farm near the small town of Manoora about 120 kilometres north of Adelaide. Baptised at St Anthony of Padua Church in Manoora in September 1999, Karri attended local schools for both her primary and secondary school education. She recognised that education was a critical part of her future and in 2017 she enrolled at Aquinas College (a Catholic residential college attached to the University of Adelaide) to commence a science degree. In 2017 she achieved either high distinctions or distinctions in each of the units she was studying.

       Her first year of university in 2017 went smoothly, but in the first week of the first semester in 2018 she was diagnosed with stage two kidney cancer. She made the decision to defer further university attendance because her treatment would mean that she would miss many compulsory practical units.

       Recommencing study in the second semester she slowly began to get back on top of things.

       She has been unable to take on any paid work on top of her study commitments, which together with the cost of her medical treatment has left her facing a difficult financial position in 2019. Her parents agreed to pay the difference between her Centrelink payments and her college fees for the first two years at college, as they did with her three older siblings, but the agreement is for her to pay for herself each year afterwards.

       She would love to stay at Aquinas College in 2019 because of the high level of support she receives.

       When Karri finishes as an undergraduate her wish is to undertake honours and then a Phd in the life sciences sector. She has an ambition to undertake a research project and eventually start her own business from which she can make a difference to the world.

       Karri’s teacher in Year 12 writes of her inter alia:

“I have known Karri Thomas for seven years and during this time she has consistently presented a dedicated, motivated and aspirational attitude towards her studies and extra curricula activities.”

       “She is one of the few students I have taught that has the capacity to achieve anything she puts her mind to without exception. Karri has developed sound time management, prioritisation and academic skills. She consistently performs to a very high academic and moral standard, which demonstrates her capacity to learn and achieve at a high level.”

       “Throughout her time at high school, Karri was “Dux” in every year; demonstrating her continuous commitment to excellence. She is also highly athletically driven as she participated and was successful in all sports offered by the school.”

       “Karri’s attention to detail is unfailing in all aspects of her life, where she exhibits her drive for achievement and accomplishment. When faced with challenges she faces them head on and problem solves solutions until a positive outcome is achieved.”

       “Even in the face of serious illness in 2018, Karri was determined to utilise her time to learn, so she focused her time on learning a language while in recovery. I am proud of the way that Karri dedicates herself to her studies, personal pursuits, interests and ethical standards. I am also grateful to know an individual who inspires me to aim high every day and to challenge myself to ensure there is no pathway left untraveled.”