A culture of giving
UTS alumni are changing lives – volunteering their time, offering job opportunities and generously donating to help students in need.
Zachary Krahe is proud to be the first in his family to go to university. But after moving from a small rural town in Victoria to study at UTS, the high cost of living came as a shock.
“It felt impossible. Some weeks I only had $20 to live on, sometimes I would go hungry,” says Zachary. “In my first year I failed two subjects, so I was really stressed out. I didn’t think uni was for me.”
Things changed after a teacher recommended Zachary apply for a Diversity Access Scholarship. These scholarships are supported by UTS alumni and donors who are passionate about empowering students in need.
“I received $1000, which doesn’t seem like much,” Zachary says. “But it was really impactful, because if you divide that over the weeks you’re studying, that $20 I had before becomes $40 or $50, and life becomes more manageable. It was the first time I could actually focus on my studies without the stress of going hungry or not being able to pay rent.”
It was the first time I could actually focus on my studies without the stress of going hungry or not being able to pay rent.
Soon, Zachary began working at the Alumni Outreach Program – a team of students tasked with calling alumni, reconnecting with them and letting them know about the events and initiatives UTS has on offer.
“I absolutely loved it,” says Zachary. “It was an opportunity to absorb knowledge from alumni, and give back by raising money for other students in need.”
Before long, one alumnus even offered Zachary an internship over the phone. “We had a conversation for almost an hour, and we got along really well,” says Zachary. “He set me up in a project with his company, and has been a great mentor ever since.”
Two years later, Zachary is still working for the same company in a dream role as a full-time SQL and Reporting Analyst. He’s completing his Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (IT) part time. “It’s actually really beneficial doing both at the same time. At university I learn the theory and fundamentals, and I have the opportunity to apply them practically in the workforce,” says Zachary.
Without the support of the UTS alumni community, Zachary isn’t sure he would still be at university – let alone find success in his chosen industry.
“Because of their generosity, I actually had food to eat,” says Zachary. “But the phone calls I had with alumni were equally beneficial. They gave me the confidence, connections and opportunity to understand and enter the workforce.”
That’s why Zachary is now committed to giving back as much as he can. With a full-time job, he’s been able to pay for his mother to visit specialists to assist with her disability, as well as donating to a variety of charitable causes. “It’s not much at this stage, but I’m hoping it can be more in the future,” says Zachary.
“I know that even by helping a little, it makes a big impact. That’s something I’ve really noticed throughout my life. When someone seeks help and gets that help, later on they’re likely to also give back. It creates a cycle of giving.”
You can help students like Zachary
Please help us provide more Diversity Access Scholarships to disadvantaged students as they work hard to complete their degree.