Scholarship for determined Jay

JAY Hooker is not going to let a little “spanner in the works” stop him from finishing his studies at Tweed's Southern Cross University.

In January last year Jay, then 20, became an incomplete quadriplegic after a sand tobogganing accident on Stradbroke Island.

But after a year off, the determined 21-year-old is ready to hit the books again and will today receive the $2000 Mick Young Scholarship to help him finish a Bachelor of Business.

Despite what he described as a “spanner in the works”, Jay, of Elanora, is more determined than ever to finish university.

“I have trouble getting around without a wheelchair, and although I can move my arms, my hands don't work, so everyday tasks like working on the computer are a bit of a challenge,” he said.

“I'm realistic about what I can do - for example, getting a trade is out of the question, so I'll be relying heavily on my degree to get a job, and it's important for me to do well.

“I'm really interested in economics and law.”

Jay has just received accreditation through Palm Beach Surf Life Saving Club to judge surfing competitions and is also preparing to present information on spinal injury prevention and safety to local school children via the Queensland Government-supported Spinal Education Awareness Team.

He will be one of 24 students to receive scholarships in a presentation at the Tweed Heads Civic Centre today.

“The scholarship means I'll be able to afford to get my textbooks straight away instead of saving up for them,” he said.

“Also, I have to get a taxi to and from the University so it will help me pay for that. My number one goal at the moment is to finish my degree.”

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