A former Shepparton student is among the first group of students from La Trobe’s Aspire Program to complete his university studies.
The Aspire Program recognises the positive impact individuals have on the community through volunteering and leadership.
Nathalia’s Stephen Leitch said careers advisors mentioned the program to him, knowing he was involved in the community.
‘‘The appeal to me was that it would give me an early offer,’’ he said.
‘‘I thought if I could get an early offer it would take the pressure off exams.’’
Students accepted into the Aspire Program not only received an early conditional offer but also benefit from having their ATAR lowered for their chosen degree.
Thankfully, Mr Leitch did not need the discount as he received above the required ATAR, but he saw the appeal of Aspire to potential employers.
‘‘It’s helped with a lot of my soft skills and preparing for employment,’’ he said.
‘‘It’s helped me develop good time management skills, to balance these sort of commitments with social commitments, study and work.’’
Shepparton La Trobe head of campus Sue Nalder said ‘‘at La Trobe community contribution counts’’.
‘‘Which is why we want to recognise students who share our values through service that helps others,’’ she said.
Year 12 students in the Goulburn Valley have recently completed VCE exams and are anxiously awaiting the release of ATARs.
Mr Leitch’s advice to anyone thinking of tertiary study after school is to ‘‘just go for it’’.
‘‘It’s not the end of the world if you don’t get the score that you really want or need because there are always other avenues you can take to get there,’’ he said.
La Trobe University will be hosting events at its Shepparton campus on Saturday, December 16, for the coming Change of Preference period.