My name is Sam Saunders and I'm from a small rural town called Inverell in the New England area this is my first year the university of Newcastle. I'm studying a bachelor of secondary education, a bachelor of arts doing English and histories.

I grew up in a small rural town called Inverell and yeah I got involved in everything within the community. I was school captain for the public high school and did a lot of sport for the community as well which was really good. I got to know everyone, which is good, for a small town. Everyone will tell you that you can know everyone and you can kind of say hello to everyone down the street.

When I was considering what sort of career I wanted to get into after I finished school teaching was really at the forefront of my mind because I had such good experiences. I knew how much the students could get out of having a good teacher through high school. On the last day of school before the HSC, I was in the careers advisor's office trying to look for ways to help me get through University. I was having a look on the Department of Education's website saying maybe they'll have something going that I could try and apply for to help me get through university. I found the teach Rural scholarship and I thought this would be really good because I really want to get back out into a rural area, because I know the small towns how they work, how teachers know all the students and how they get really involved within the community. That's what I'm all about so when I saw this I was... yeah, really keen to apply I thought this is exactly what I wanted to do so, I was applying that night.

Definitely having that scholarship money coming through each year is going to be massive help because living so far away from home, it's hard to get the financial support. Especially with mum and dad having other children coming through university in the next couple years, it's going to take a lot of pressure off their shoulders firstly and it's going to help me to be able to enjoy my time while I'm down here. As well as that, having employment at the end of my teaching degree is something a lot of kids here don't have, like they don't have that guaranteed employment which is going to really help me. I know I'm going to be in a good area that I'm going to enjoy it, so it's a win-win whichever way you look at it, there is no downside to getting one of these scholarships. Everything that about it is a win, you get guaranteed employment, you get good money to stay at university and you get a job that you love afterwards. You're going to be helping people which is what it's all about so I couldn't encourage you enough to apply for a scholarship.

Teach and make a difference.