Hastings Secondary College's Hannah Stewart is one of 25 students across Australia to be awarded the prestigious Tuckwell scholarship.
The scholarship is available to school-leavers attending the Australian National University (ANU) with the total scholarship package offered valued at up to $140,000.
Recipients are guaranteed access to student accommodation, funding for five years of full study, mentoring from an experienced Tuckwell Fellow, an allowance to assist with their move to Canberra and numerous other perks.
When Miss Stewart received the call from founders Graham and Louise Tuckwell to let her know she was one of the lucky few who had been accepted into the program, it was a nerve wracking experience.
"It was a bit unreal," she said.
"During the interview process you had no idea how well you went so it was a bit of shock and really exciting."
The path to the scholarship hasn't been easy.
Miss Stewart first had to answer approximately 60 questions while applying for ANU to qualify for the scholarship before filling out 10 long form questions and getting the support of her year's advisor Miss Smith.
After being selected as one of the 50 applicants short-listed, Miss Stewart was able to enjoy a weekend trip to Canberra to visit the campus, meet other scholars and complete in-person interviews with four different panels.
Applicants were evaluated on academic ability, leadership potential, strength of character and their commitment to give back.
These are attributes that come naturally to Miss Stewart.
Involved in the SRC since Year 10, Miss Stewart has been dedicated to her school community with fundraising events, organising a rubbish audit and assisting with the morning breakfast club.
She also have been involved in the robotics team at the Hastings Secondary College Westport campus.
It was her involvement in the team that encouraged her to study engineering and science at ANU.
"I found out how enjoyable it is working together to make this robot that actually works in the end.
I often refer to it as basketball for nerds because you get that adrenaline rush watching the robots."
For her teachers, the scholarship doesn't come as a surprise.
Heather O'Brien who has taught Miss Stewart since year 7 said it had been wonderful to have her in class.
"If I had a class full of Hannahs, my life would be very pleasant and my job would be very easy.
She's a very dedicated young lady and does extra things on top of her normal classwork"
Miss Stewart's mentor and physics teacher Tim Gilchrist said it was a proud moment for him especially as a former ANU student himself.
"She's very deserving of it. She's a hardworking student so I couldn't think of a better candidate."
Miss Stewart credits her parents as well as College Principal Meaghan Cook and science teacher Lisa Hall for helping her but especially Mr Gilchrist who assisted her with the early steps of the process and drafting applications.
"Originally she told me she didn't want to consider ANU because it was so far and I really hoped she would consider it because I knew how beautiful of a campus it is and how well she will suit it."
Thanks to the scholarship however, Miss Stewart will be given an allowance to support two annual return journeys between her home and ANU for each year of her degree.
"It's enabling these students from these more regional areas to travel that distance to go to some of these amazing universities with some of the best facilities in the world," Mr Gilchrist said.
"It's truly just enabling her to achieve the potential I know she has."
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.