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Never too early, never too late to study

22 Mar 2021

A 45-year-old Biomedical Science student who “always wanted to go to university and always had an interest in medicine” has been joined on USC’s Moreton Bay campus this year by her 16-year-old daughter.

Sarah Bette-Bennett, of Warner, is delighted that daughter Elise has enrolled in Headstart, a program that enables Year 11 and 12 students to complete USC subjects to gain credit towards a degree.

Elise is no stranger to the USC campus – at age 10 she appeared on the front page of the local paper after she was chosen to help celebrate the council’s land purchase at Petrie.

“Elise has enrolled in a Justice course through Headstart. She wants to experience the university life that will be waiting for her after she graduates high school,” Sarah said.

“I’d attended a Headstart Information Night in 2019 and thought it was brilliant. I talked to my daughter about how beneficial it would be if she wanted to go to university.”

Elise said she was enjoying her first lectures and exploring the campus.

“It is full-on doing school and uni and my other commitments, but I like the pressure,” she said. “I’ve already made a friend, too, when we sat near each other.”

Sarah also participated in a USC introductory program, TPP (Tertiary Preparation Pathway).

“I never had an opportunity to attend university after high school in France and over the years I’ve studied for certificates or worked in industries as different as fashion design, business, legal practice, paramedicine and volunteering in schools,” Sarah said.

“When I started TPP, my aim was to study education to be a teacher. But the courses I took in academic skills, biology and chemistry made me realise that maybe I have a chance at learning medicine.

“We did TPP at the community centre before the USC Moreton Bay campus was even built at Petrie, and it was a really good opportunity to learn among only 20 or so students. Some are great friends now and we see each other on campus and wave. Living only 10 minutes’ drive away is perfect.

“Biomedical Science is full-on and really good. We’re catching up on lab work we couldn’t do last year with COVID restrictions. Ideally I’d like to work in a lab, in epidemiology. I’m interested in viruses and genetics.”

Elise has had a busy start to 2021, after recently being selected as a member of the YMCA Queensland Youth Parliament.

“But Headstart will actually help with her high school Legal Studies course, too,” said Sarah.

Parents of students in Years 10-12 can register for an online USC Headstart Information Evening on Tuesday 23 March from 5.30pm to 6.30pm via Zoom.

Biomedical Science student Sarah Bette-Bennett, left, and daughter Elise who has enrolled in Headstart

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