$18,000 uni scholarship

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).

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