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Wallan Secondary School student receives zoos scholarship

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A WALLAN Secondary College student has been awarded one of six scholarships to attend Zoos Victoria’s Youth Leadership Program starting in April.

Year 10 student Jayde Waddell will gain an understanding of skills required as science leaders, while also developing knowledge in leadership and communication through wildlife conservation.

Science learning area leader Rebecca Cook, who nominated Ms Waddell for the scholarship, said the school was proud to have a student rewarded as there was limited prior knowledge to the program.

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“It came up that we could apply for a scholarship position for schools that are disadvantaged,” Ms Cook said.

“There were only six scholarships available for all of Victoria and Jayde got one of them.

“I didn’t actually know about it but I had it sent to me by [another staff member] so I figured I’d nominate.”

The program is at Melbourne Zoo, with excursions to visit other zoos run by Zoos Victoria, including Healesville Sanctuary and Werribee Open Range Zoo. Zoo employees will also attend to mentor attendees throughout the program.

Jayde said she was excited to be given the opportunity to attend the program.

“It’s a way for me to help find a pathway, I do have an interest in biology but don’t have a lot of knowledge around it,” she said.

“This is a way for me to learn more about biology and hopefully gain something from it for a possible career.”

Jayde is the first student from the college to receive a scholarship from Zoos Victoria, with other students nominated finding difficulties with time constraints due to the program requiring attendees miss school days while on excursions.

She said the program would help further her knowledge in biology.

“It was the kind of thing like ‘oh I like animals’ but it slowly grew to I want to learn how animals work, and how cells interact with other cells,” Jayde said.

“It’s something more to learn and more of an interest to see how far I could get with it.”

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