Horizon Achieve Grant

26 July 16

Scholarship protects vulnerable students in Coomera Springs community


Coomera Springs State School students facing disadvantages at home are now glimpsing a brighter future following a $3500 grant from social and affordable housing not-for-profit group, Horizon Housing.


The school was the first recipient of the ‘Horizon Achieve Scholarship Program’, which was established to provide funds for schools to assist families to keep their kids learning on track through periods of hardship.


One of the first applications of the grant enabled a student with a speech disability to access the school’s iPad program.


“With his iPad, that student is now able to easily communicate with his teachers and other students, which has obviously had a huge positive impact on his ability to learn”, said Coomera Springs State School Deputy Principal, Taylor Haley.


“Research has shown that maintaining a connection to education is a key factor in breaking the ‘no home, no job’ cycle that leads to serious disadvantages for Australian children”, said Horizon Housing Chief Executive Officer, Jason Cubit.


 “With the Horizon head office based in Ashmore, we wanted to do something to help the Gold Coast community.  Our goal is to enable students to gain the most out of their school years, so they can go on to secure employment that will fund their own housing aspirations in the long term – permanently breaking the housing stress cycle”.


The Horizon Achieve Scholarship program is designed to support early intervention and prevention for at-risk students, with schools well placed to respond quickly to families in need.


“School staff come into contact with a cross section of the community every day – so we’re well placed to respond to families that might be having a tough time”, said Haley.


“The funding is certainly appreciated - one recipient’s Dad came in to tell us just how thankful they were for the funding and the impact the extra support had on their family. In particular, he was so grateful to feel that someone else was keeping an eye out for his kids and loved them as much as he does”.


“We’re thrilled to be able to support our families, which in turn supports the broader local community. We’re very thankful to Horizon for that opportunity”.


To avoid the stigma of hardship, scholarship recipient privacy is protected, and their details are not shared.


“We wanted to assist families to remain members of their communities, rather than being further marginalised or excluded”, said Cubit.


Horizon Housing’s first round of scholarship funding was made possible by a $10,000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank, with funds already presented to another Queensland school and a third to be announced shortly.


The program is entirely not-for-profit, with all of the $10,000 Commonwealth Bank grant to be passed directly on to the three schools to assist families in need.


Horizon Housing will be applying for further grants and funding partners to assist the Horizon Achieve Scholarships program to continue.