Minto's Lauren Pearce (pictured) is one of three students offered the first scholarships of recently-retired NRL player Corey Payne's Future Direction Network.
Miss Pearce graduated from Macquarie Fields High School last year and will receive $18,000 spread over the next three years to help with her university tuition.
The wordsmith — who was last year shortlisted for the John Marsden Prize for young writers — will study a bachelor of arts in history, English and philosophy at the University of Sydney.
"It's such a massive help and such a massive load off my mind," Miss Pearce said of the scholarship.
She believes a lot of her success is owed to her Macquarie Fields High School teachers.
"John Wilkie and Imelda Judge are both mentors of mine with my writing and I owe them this scholarship," she said.
Future Direction Network is to inform and inspire students from south-west Sydney about the importance of continuing education at university.
Miss Pearce will be presented with her scholarship at her old school today (Wednesday).