It isn't everyday you come across fearless characters like Ioannis 'Yianni' Kazouris. Yianni's life journey has seen him face adversity around a few corners, but that hasn't stopped him from achieving his dreams.
Yianni was born with congenital disorders requiring a jaw and hip reconstruction, along with many other surgeries and health challenges.
Despite missing a lot of school over the years due to his health complications, Kazouris remained dedicated to his education. So much so, that in his final year of high school, he decided to postpone hip surgery and live with the constant pain of a dislocated right hip so that he could finish Year 12, achieve good grades and enrol in a Bachelor of Accounting course at Charles Darwin University.
It was through this sheer determination to reach his goal, that we couldn't go past young Yianni when assessing our inaugural Territory Health Fund Education Scholarship candidates.
Our $5000 Scholarship in partnership with the Ronald McDonald House Charities North Australia Ronald McDonald Learning Program was designed to support young Territorians who have battled serious illness, and enable them to pursue their career dreams through university or vocational training.
Although the scholarship won't remove the physical challenges Kazouris continues to face, we were however pleased to know that it will aid him in coming closer to achieving his life-long goals.
Our Business Development Manager, Marie Novio, said Yianni was a deserving recipient among a high calibre field of candidates.
“Yianni has overcome so many medical issues to achieve his education, and he impressed us with his determination to complete Year 12 with a clear goal of going on to study accounting at Charles Darwin University,”.
“As a Member-owned Health Fund we are committed to giving back to the community, so when Ronald McDonald House Charities approached us to partner with them for their inaugural Education scholarship in the Northern Territory, we jumped at the chance.”
“We hope the Scholarship helps ease the financial pressure for Yianni and his family so he can focus on his health and education.”
Yianni was kind enough to give us a little insight into how this scholarship will positively impact his life moving forward. Here's what he had to say:
Tell us a little bit about how you made the decision to study and why you applied for this scholarship?
My aim in life is to look forward and to focus on making something positive out of my negatives.
What were the biggest challenges to starting your degree education?
The Territory Health Fund Education Scholarship will help so much with achieving my goal since I am not able to get a job just yet and any help makes a big difference.
What were the biggest challenges facing you before you received the scholarship in considering starting your degree?
As a family we are all already giving up a lot financially to help with upcoming surgery costs and expenses such as renovating bathroom to make it wheelchair accessible, flights and accommodation.