Grace Stals learnt at a young age how legal assistance can turn someone’s life around.
Forced to leave home at 16 because of domestic violence and abuse, she was homeless and dropped out of school before finding accommodation and then working long hours to support herself.
It was only with the help of a community lawyer that she was able to source the financial assistance she needed to continue her studies and make it into university.
For me, the scholarship means the difference between merely surviving and actually living.
Grace is driven by her personal experience to use the law to improve the lives of underprivileged women and youth.
She’s is studying a Bachelor of Laws alongside a Bachelor of Social and Political Science, and sees herself eventually working to help those in society who can least afford legal assistance.
Grace is also involved with a range of vulunteer groups both inside and outside university including fEMPOWER, a NSW organisation which helps to educate school students about gendered violence and inequality.
She believes financial stress is the biggest barrier to studying both practically and in terms of mental health.
Grace says it’s one thing to make it into university but making it out with a degree is the real challenge.