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Jay receives support for studies


18 February 2009
Determined Elanora-based student Jay Hooker will tomorrow receive a $2000 scholarship to help him complete his studies at Southern Cross University’s Tweed Gold Coast campus.

Jay, who has been awarded the Mick Young Scholarship, is in his third year of a Bachelor of Business and is only one year on from breaking his neck in a serious accident that occurred while tobogganing down a sand dune on a family holiday at North Stradbroke Island.

Jay said despite the ‘spanner in the works’ caused by his accident, he was more determined than ever to finish his degree.

“I have trouble getting around without a wheelchair and although I can move my arms, my hands don’t work, so everyday tasks like working on the computer are a bit of a challenge,” said Jay.

“I’m realistic about what I can do – for example, getting a trade is out of the question, so I’ll be relying heavily on my degree to get a job, and it’s important for me to do well.

“I’m really interested in economics and law, and my Dad works in the insurance industry so there might be some opportunities there as well.”

Jay is not letting adversity hold him back, having just received accreditation through Palm Beach Surf Club to judge surfing competitions. The community-minded student is also preparing to present information on spinal injury prevention and safety to local school children via the Queensland Government-supported Spinal Education Awareness Team.

Jay said he was pleased to have won the scholarship.

“The scholarship means I’ll be able to afford to get my textbooks straight away instead of saving up for them,” he said.

“Also, I have to get a taxi to and from the University so it will help me pay for that – as well as all the little things like paper and pens that always end up adding up.

“My number one goal at the moment is to finish my degree, and it’s great to get some financial support.”

Jay will be one of 24 students to receive scholarships in a presentation at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre tomorrow.

Media opportunity: Jay Hooker and other scholarship students and staff from Southern Cross University will be available for photos and interview after the scholarship ceremony at Tweed Heads Civic Centre Brett Street, Tweed Heads tomorrow, Thursday February 19 at approximately 11.30am (NSW time).

Please contact Zuleika Henderson, media officer, Southern Cross University Tweed Gold Coast campus: 07 5506 9385 or 0408 644533.