Mikaela, 17, set for success with scholarship
SHE has her sights set on becoming a biomedical scientist and now Maryborough's Mikaela Bell is on her way after being awarded a prestigious scholarship.
The former OP1 Riverside Christian College dux was awarded a $24,000 Thomson Excellence scholarship on top of the Dean's Scholars Science program she started last week at USC's Sunshine Coast campus.
Mikaela, 17, said she planned to use the fast tracked degree as a path toward medicine or post-graduate research in either biotechnology or biomedical science.
"I've always had a passion for science, and this scholarship will allow me to study to the best of my ability without any financial pressure," she said.
Mikaela will complete a three year Bachelor of Science degree in two years by increasing her work load in semesters and studying through summer and winter breaks.
She will then complete Science Honours within one-year.
"This generous scholarship will be a major help with my studies," she said.
"With the extra workload required, I would have found it hard to find the time for a part-time job to help towards the cost of university."
Committed to performing exceptionally well during high school, Mikaela was one of four first-year students selected to receive the scholarship which recognised impressive results during senior high school.
Mikaela received several science-based awards in her senior year including the Scientist of the Year Award in last year's Fraser Coast Science Research Awards, hosted by USC.
She was also awarded the school's Science Faculty Award, the Zonta Club Award for high achievement in STEM subjects as a female student and a high distinction in a university head start subject in human anatomy and physiology.
As Mikaela is still unsure of what area of science to pursue, she said USC's Dean Scholar's Science program offered the freedom to explore several options.
"At the moment, I have chosen Biomedical Science as a major and Biotechnology as a minor," she said.
"When I graduate, I plan to study medicine or continue research into the field of science that interests me most during my degree."