Scholarship helped me: Elesha


A DETERMINED young woman who was the recipient of a scholarship shares her experience of how the scholarship had changed her life.
Eleasha Yalehen, from a mixture of West Sepik, Bougainville and Manus, was raised in Lae, Morobe.
Her studies at university was changed when she was awarded the National Information and Communications Technology (Nicta) information and communication technology (ICT) scholarship for girls in 2018.
Her four years of studying electrical engineering at the University of Technology in Lae, were all paid for.
“The scholarship provided well for me throughout my four years at university,” she said.
“The scholarship was semesterly, where it was renewed each semester based on academic performance throughout the eight semesters with the expected GPA (grade point average) to secure the scholarship increases.
“This caused me to maintain focus on my studies.
“The scholarship gave me a reason to keep improving my grades and maintain focus.
“Although I wanted to keep my grades up, I did not stop participating in extra-curricular activities on campus so I did get to socialise on campus. “The scholarship was a parent to me, it covered all my academic needs, so it was easy to focus and part take in student organised activities.
“I did not have to worry about school fees, or stationery or pocket allowances, because it was all covered by the scholarship.
“I initially wanted to take up mechanical engineering when I was filling out my school leavers form at the end of grade 12, following in the footsteps of my parents.
“However, before filling up my final form, I consulted my mum, and she encouraged me to take up electrical engineering.
“Getting into electrical engineering at University of Technology, I still did not know what to expect.
“I did not know I wanted to take up communications in my final year of studies, it was all a ‘fill-in-the-gaps’ situation for me.
“Then I had one of my seniors from Marianville Secondary School who also took up electrical engineering.
“She was in her second year when I went in first year.
“I talked to her and she explained fair bit on the course, and it was then that I decided to take up communications engineering when I get to my final year.
“I first learnt of the scholarship from my late maternal grandfather who was reading the newspapers and saw the scholarship advertisement and called me to have a look.
“He told me to apply for the scholarship.”
Eleasha said the benefits of the scholarship were great as they provided her school fees, stationery allowances, pocket allowances and travel tickets.
She did her industrial training with Nicta at the end of her third year in 2019 and moved to Port Moresby last year after completing her studies in search for employment.
Eleasha’s advice to other young girls who are interested in taking up a career in ICT is to just go for it.
“The challenges will always be there whether or not you take up an ICT-related field,” she said.
“Challenges are there to make you grow.”

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