A scholarship has helped a Dunfermline woman bridge the funding gap and cross into a dream job.
Former Fife College student Sarah Stevenson has transformed her life thanks to hard work and a scholarship from the college’s Adam Smith Foundation.
Sarah recently took up a post as trainee project manager with Amey at the Forth Road Bridge after successfully completing a nine-week placement with the company.
But a few months ago she thought the position was out of her reach due to a lack of money to pay for childcare for her daughter Amelia, 4.
Said Sarah: “It was fantastic to be offered the nine-week placement with Amey.
“However, I felt that everything was against me at the time as I had no funds to pay for full-time childcare, which cost £1,600.”
She said college staff told her about the foundation which awards scholarships and one-off funding.
She was delighted to receive the funding which allowed Sarah to take the placement, at the end of which she was offered a four-year advanced apprenticeship with Amey.
The Adam Smith Foundation is a unique scholarship programme which, since being established in 1997, has distributed more than 950 scholarships and awarded nearly £500,000.
“Working for Amey is fantastic – not only am I now employed with great prospects ahead and enjoying what I do, I am also able to continue my studies part-time studying for a degree in civil engineering at Napier University.”
Having also moved into a new home and passed her driving test, she believes she can offer a better life for herself, her partner and Amelia.
“I wouldn’t be where I am now this early in my career without the award from the Adam Smith Foundation,” she said, advising others “not to give up or let circumstances prevent them from achieving their dreams”.
Sarah’s passion for engineering has resulted in her being given her very own project scheme for Amey.
She is also looking forward to working on the new Queensferry Crossing when it opens later this year.
Longer term Sarah hopes to become a project manager with Amey, complete her degree and work towards chartered engineering status.
Trust fundraiser Gaynor Jarrett added: “Sarah is a great example of how a little extra help can go a long way and the foundation is delighted to hear that this has resulted in a great career for Sarah.
“This year is the 20th anniversary of the Adam Smith Foundation and we are on course to help a record number of students which is great news for the college and for our students.”