Doors Open Wide for Josh

For Year 10 student, Josh E, completing high-school was not always in the plan. In fact, before St Peters, he saw himself most likely finishing after Year 10 and working toward a trade; following a very different path to reach his ultimate goal of becoming a Mechanical Engineer or a Physio.

Today, university is in his reach. He’s a driven, good natured student with the world at his feet. So why the sudden boost in confidence? Josh says it’s all because of the Rural Leadership Scholarship (RLS).

“One of the people from home—a really good mate of Dad’s—told us about RLS and said I should apply. I was heading into Year 9 at the time, so [the College] said I was still too young. They told me to come back the next year though. I did and here we are!”

Josh moved to St Peters from northern country New South Wales at the start of 2018. He became a boarder and part of the St Peters community.

“It was the scariest thing I’ve ever done,” Josh said of walking into St Peters the first time. “I went into that boardroom full of people by myself…but I lightened the mood with a joke and it’s been fine ever since.”

Josh says that his time at St Peters has allowed him to grow—that it’s opened a lot of doors for him already. Part of this Josh attributes to the positive attitude that seems to be everywhere at St Peters, and the other part: his mentor, Ray Young.
The pairing of Josh and Ray is a key component of the RLS—students are partnered with someone who holds a prominent position in the world of business and can share insights on life and leadership. The goal of the mentorship is to give RLS recipients someone to touch base with; someone they can turn to, but, as Ray told Plus Ultra, the mentor actually gets a lot out of it as well!

“To start with, it was fantastic to be given the opportunity to be involved [with RLS],” Ray said. “These sorts of scholarships and opportunities are life-changing and when you have the chance to be involved in that, in any capacity, you know that you’ll be able to have a lasting impact.”

Josh and Ray meet every couple of weeks, often with Ray’s son James (also in Year 10). They meet on and off campus to discuss school, life and the different pathways Josh has opening up to him.

“What I’ve really found with Josh is that he’s got a good strength of character,” Ray started. “He’s a bright kid and he has really, really, good self-belief. I think that’s allowed him to embrace this opportunity. He’s willing to listen and see where this journey will take him.”

And on that last point, we have to agree! In just six months, Josh has settled in to College life with expert ease. He has embraced his sport, his studies and life as a boarder. He is living proof of Ray’s reflection that, “We’ve picked a good one!”.

Josh is positive and proud.
“I never thought that a country kid like me would get an opportunity like this. [It’s been] a real life-changer.”
He added, “Boarding is terrific. Every part of it—from the boarding masters, to the brothers who you live with. They’re all so encouraging and kind. Even in Study, if you’re struggling, most of [the masters] are old-scholars. They’ve been through the whole process and can help you out.”

So what’s next for Josh? He and Ray joke that it’s for Josh to master the art of chopsticks, so that he’s as good as James! In reality though, they’re working on choices. “Getting expert advice [from Ray] on how to do stuff with your life when you embrace choices has been great. He’s had a big impact on my life.”

The Rural Leadership Scholarship is funded by generous donations from the Richards Foundation.

In 2019, it will be offered to two students entering Years 10, 11 or 12. Applications close on 31 August 2018. More information can be found here