The Vijayasekaran Family Smith Coffey Rural Pathways Scholarship
Smith Coffey is proud to join with the Vijayasekaran Family to form the University of Western Australia Rural Pathway Scholarship in Medicine. The purpose of the scholarship is to ensure that a student disadvantaged by geography or circumstance, can receive the university education that will enable them to achieve their potential.
Caitlyn Taylor from Bunbury is the worthy recipient of the 2015 Scholarship.
2018 Update from Caitlyn Taylor
I cannot believe how quickly we are coming to the end of April, especially considering I am now over three months into my first year of medical school. The final year of my physiology degree was a change of pace from my earlier years, as I moved out of college and became more involved in university campus culture, through being elected as president of a university club.
Coming into 2018 it was time to start medical school on the 22nd of January. After an intensive six week “Foundations” pre-semester, I welcomed a good result in my first exam, before stepping into the first block of organs and systems units. I am currently in my first semester, where we receive seventeen lectures and attend multiple labs each week, on topics including the anatomy, physiology, pharmacology and pathology of multiple organ systems. This step up from undergraduate education has certainly challenged everyone involved. However, the medical student community at UWA is refreshingly supportive and welcoming. I have honestly thoroughly enjoyed this change of pace, as the additional pressures have only strengthened my drive to succeed in my studies. I have now successfully completed a second exam and I am preparing for a further three before the semester comes to a close. I hope to complete the year with a solid foundation for the commencement of hospital placement in 2019.
I would like to thank you again for giving me the opportunity to live out my dreams. As boring as it seems, it truly gives me so much joy to spend all day, every day in the library. I have been so blessed to have the financial and mentorship support to carry out my studies and involve myself in all aspects of the university experience. Through this assistance I am starting to fulfil the potential that I have to work as a capable, diligent, passionate medical professional.
— Caitlyn Taylor
2015 Thank You letter from Caitlyn Taylor
Below is an excerpt from her thank you letter:
“My name is Caitlyn Taylor and I would like to thank you for this most extraordinary, beautiful gift. This scholarship has not only had an incredibly positive impact on my future, but it has also had a life changing effect on my whole family.
This scholarship means so much to me, as it will go very far in reducing the financial burden that a seven year, full time university career and living away from my rural home, will have on my family and myself. My family has been through a series of trials and tribulations, primarily centred upon my father’s chronic illness. As a result of cirrhosis, my father became very ill with liver disease in 2005, undergoing a liver transplant in 2008 and being diagnosed with cancer in 2011. The psychological stress of ongoing illness and its costly and time consuming management and treatment, have significantly influenced my family. My father has been unable to work full time since 2005 and fully unemployed since 2011. My mother works part time, as she is not only the sole breadwinner for my family, including my younger sister, but also the primary caregiver for my father. Despite these circumstances, my mother and father have been incredibly positive role models for me and my younger sister, it is through their influence that I have learned the value of hard work and persistence and I have therefore always been driven to be as independent as possible. In 2014, I took a gap year to try and save enough money to relieve some of the financial strain that moving away from home to study would place on my family. However, with the long term frame of study I was about to undertake, I knew it would be very difficult to “stay afloat” without part time work, support from my parents and government assistance. This scholarship will allow me to focus my energies on my studies. I am a passionate and conscientious student and I believe that I have the potential to become a very good medical professional.
Once again, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for allowing me to live my dream. The giving of this scholarship is truly an act of love that will never go uncherished. You will forever be in my thoughts and prayers, your names will be in my heart whenever the study gets tough or I am feeling overwhelmed. My whole family will always be so grateful and I hope that I can thank you in person in the future.”
We wish Caitlyn every success in her future studies and believe that with her determination and persistence, she will achieve her dream.
Smith Coffey would like to thank the Vijayasekaran Family for inviting us to partner them in this very worthwhile scholarship.