A TOP-CLASS student has pocketed a fantastic £3,000 to help her with her studies.
Janine Ballantyne is this year’s recipient of the Renfrewshire Educational Trust’s annual grant to students studying a one-year Masters degree at a UK university.
The Trust, which was founded in 1936, is made up of representatives from Renfrewshire, East Renfrewshire and Inverclyde councils.
Janine, 25, from Johnstone, has been given the grant to go towards her fees for studying a Masters in sociology and research methods at the University of Glasgow.
The former St Brendan’s High School pupil told the Paisley Daily Express: “When I decided I wanted to do a postgrad I started looking around for funding.
“I found a link to the Renfrewshire Educational Trust on the Glasgow Uni website and it was only about a week before the closing date.
“I filled out the application and sent it off by recorded delivery so it would get there in time.
“Then I was called for interview before the panel to talk about why they should pick me over someone else. That afternoon, I got the call that I’d been selected. I couldn’t believe it.
“The grant doesn’t cover all my fees but it means I can study full-time because I won’t have to work and pay the fees as I go along.”
With her studies, Janine hopes to research social inequalities like poverty, class, gender and race.
“I hope to make a difference to my local community and in Scotland through research,” she said.
“It’s important, especially in modern society, to continue researching that sort of area.”
Janine added: “Without this award I would not have been able to commence this degree on a full-time basis due to the costs involved.
“I would like to thank the Board of Governors at the Renfrewshire Educational Trust for this award and would recommend to other final year students in Renfrewshire, who are thinking of entering postgraduate study, to apply for next year’s award.”
The Trust also gives grants to students and schools within the council areas.
Its chair, Councillor Carol Puthucheary, said: “It’s very encouraging that an organisation which was established over 70 years ago is still making a contribution to the education of young people today.
“In addition to our main award, over the year the Renfrewshire Educational Trust helps on average 25 individuals and 45 schools and groups.
“Grants have been used to support participation in music and sports events and educational excursions. The Trust will continue to do that for many years to come.”
Any individual or school wishing to find out more about applying for grants from the Renfrewshire Educational Trust should contact Sarah White on 0141 840 3630, write to her at Department of Finance and Corporate Services, Renfrewshire Council, Renfrewshire House, Cotton Street, Paisley PA1 1TR, or email ret.cs@ renfrewshire.gov.uk