Former Bordertown High School student Kahli Lock has received one of 40 new scholarships awarded to high-achieving young South Australians.
The Chartwells/St Ann's College/Playford Trust Residential Scholarship will help her settle into Adelaide and tackle a Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical) (Honours) at the University of Adelaide.
Kahli grew up on a sheep and cattle farm, where she was named the 2020 Barker Dux and received subject awards for chemistry, mathematical methods, physics and English.
She represented the school at athletics and netball, helped out at fundraisers, served as the school's SRC vice during Year 12, and volunteered for other local organisations.
For her fantastic efforts she was awarded an ADF Long Tan Award for Leadership and Teamwork.
During her schooling, she was able to be exposed to potential careers in the STEM field, and quickly realised their importance in solving world problems.
Participating in the South Australian Space School in Adelaide, the National Space Camp in Canberra and the National Youth Science Forum in Brisbane confirmed her decision to follow the career path.
During these events, Kahli spent time talking to scientists, engineers and like-minded students, who all influenced her decision to study chemical engineering.
She hopes to work in the renewable energy sector to assist with Australia's transition to a more sustainable future.
Playford Trust chair Dean Brown said the trust will provide more than $700,000 to support around 100 new and continuing university and TAFE students during 2021.
"This is our highest ever level of funding, which is an impressive achievement given the disruption and uncertainty caused by COVID-19," Mr Brown said.
"We again received great support from our partners in industry, government and the universities - and an enthusiastic response from students."
Established in 1983 in honour of Sir Thomas Playford, the state's longest-serving premier, the trust has supported more than 600 students in the past decade alone.
It has a particular focus on studies in five key areas; advanced manufacturing and new technologies, health sciences and enabling technologies, environmental sciences (including water and energy), mining and resource development, and agriculture, aquaculture and food production.
"Encouraging and fostering skills and research in areas where South Australia has the greatest competency and opportunity will help us meet the growing need for skilled staff for the future," Mr Brown said.
This year, 10 students from regional South Australia received new scholarships.