Mary Bul is a teenager keen to emulate the deeds of renowned Australian eye-doctor Fred Hollows.
Fellow Housing Trust tenant Holly Banks is a single mother of two looking to make her kids proud and establish her own business.
On Wednesday the duo and 10 other tenants received Tylah West Education Scholarships to help them achieve their educational and training goals.
Named in honour of a young Aboriginal trainee who tragically passed away in June 2015, the scholarships were developed to encourage social and affordable housing tenants to pursue opportunities in education, training or employment.
Eighteen-year-old Mary was just over a year old when she arrived in Wollongong with her mother and siblings on a humanitarian visa as refugees.
The family had fled the civil war in South Sudan.
While the Kenyan-born Mary has never been to South Sudan, stories she has been told about the country and her culture by her mum, has influenced her career aspirations.
"I'm going to study at Western Sydney University doing a double degree of Pre-Med/Medical Science and International Relations. Then I want to continue study and do a Doctorate of Medicine and then specialise in ophthalmology to become an eye doctor," Mary said.
"The thought of being able to give people the gift of sight is something I've always aspired to do.
"I think having people such as Fred Hollows and Patricia Bath to look up to inspired my passion."
Mary said the $2000 scholarship would help her purchase books and with transport costs.
"I'm just really thankful to the Housing Trust. I'm excited to do my degree and be able to give back to organisations like the Housing Trust who have helped me and my family so much."
Miss Banks is also "extremely thankful" to the Housing Trust.
The 30-year-old born and raised Wollongong woman is hoping to use the scholarship to complete a diploma in screen and media professional affects make-up at the SCA Hair and Beauty Academy in Oak Flats.
"This is the second time I've been awarded this scholarship. The first time I did my diploma in beauty therapy," she said.
Having gone on to work in and managed a day spa facility, Miss Banks wants to broaden her knowledge in the beauty industry in the hope of opening her own business soon.
"I want to show my kids that they can achieve what they want if they are willing to work hard for it," she said.
"I'm so thankful to the Housing Trust because these scholarships have given me the confidence to continue pushing through during the hard times."
Housing Trust CEO Michele Adair said in the last four years the scholarship program has helped 38 tenants meet some of the costs incurred in pursuing their scholarly or career aspirations.
Supported by The Bank of Australia, the scholarship program has delivered more than $70,000 in grants to tenants.
Ms Adair said financial capacity should not be a barrier to people pursuing their best educational and training outcomes.
"Low incomes should not rob people of the chance to succeed in their chosen field or pursue fresh challenges in their careers," she said.
"The Tylah West Educational Scholarships enable our tenants to meet some of the costs they face in the drive to attain their goals, whether that be purchasing books and equipment, paying university fees or offsetting transportation costs."