MEDICINE student Ellie Horgan, from Letterlickey, has been awarded the Bantry Credit Union Third Level Education Scholarship for 2021.
Ellie, who has just started her first year studying medicine at UCC and who also attended Gaelscoil Bheanntraí and then Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí, said she was overwhelmed and delighted with the scholarship.
‘It means so much to me as it gives me financial peace of mind as I start college,’ Ellie told The Southern Star.
‘I owe a huge thanks to Coláiste Pobail, as well as the credit union. I had some phenomenal teachers who really helped me along. The scholarship gives me a great start and I am so grateful to everyone who has supported me.’
Ellie, who lives with her brother Ben and parents Niamh and Ger, always wanted to study medicine and when she didn’t achieve the required points, she repeated her Leaving Cert.
While studying hard to achieve her dream, Ellie also found time to work two jobs and to volunteer with the 50808 Crisis Text Line as a crisis counsellor, and as a befriending volunteer with Alone.
‘I was never into sport or anything like that, but I wanted to volunteer, so that’s how I used any spare time that I had,’ Ellie said.
‘The work with Crisis Text Line and Alone is very rewarding and I will continue to volunteer with both for as long as I can,’ she said.
Ellie, who also volunteers as a member of the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre’s youth advisory panel, would like to specialise in the area of women and children’s health in the future.
‘It’s early days yet, but women and children’s health is an area that I am very interested in,’ Ellie said.
The Bantry Credit Union scholarship scheme has helped students with college fees since 2003 and is worth €6,000 in total (€1,500 a year for four years).
Chairperson of Bantry Credit Union Eddie Mullins congratulated Ellie on her achievement: ‘Ellie is clearly a remarkable young person. Her academic achievement in getting 577 CAO points and being offered a place in medicine at UCC is hugely impressive. But even more impressive are Ellie’s personal traits of perseverance and commitment and her remarkable community and voluntary spirit.’
The Bantry Credit Union scholarship is awarded following a rigorous process, involving a detailed application form, a written submission and an interview.
The assessment and decision-making process is conducted entirely by a panel of independent adjudicators, whose decision is binding on the credit union.
Marian Carey, principal at Coláiste Pobail Bheanntraí also congratulated Ellie on her award.
‘On behalf of everyone at the school I want to congratulate Ellie on winning this prestigious scholarship. Ellie has won other awards this year based on her academic achievements, but I think there’s something special about an award that recognises a student’s personal traits and their commitment to their community and the broader society,’ Ms Carey said.