Pinjarra student awarded Young Technologists scholarship, hopes to become an 'ethical hacker'

One of Pinjarra's brightest students Mark Snow has been rewarded for his academic endeavours, receiving a Young Technologists scholarship from the Westpac Scholars Trust.

The scholarships were awarded to 34 high school graduates who are passionate about technology and want to use it to drive positive social change.

Mark, 17, was granted an undergraduate scholarship worth $15,000 throughout his three-year degree at Murdoch University.

The former Frederick Irwin Anglican School student said he was encouraged to apply for the scholarship by his school careers advisor.

"When I was in high school, I studied computer science and prior to that I grew up in a family geared towards computing and technology - my dad played a lot of games and I really got into that as a child," he told the Mandurah Mail.

"I did a bit of research into [the scholarship] and it seemed like something I'd really like the opportunity to be a part of.

"I almost cried when I found out I got it, it was life changing."

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Now studying computer science at Murdoch University, Mark said he would like to work as part of a cyber forensics unit upon completion of his degree.

"What I've really got my mind set on is being able to protect and ensure that personal information is secure on the cloud," he said.

"In the last year or so I've been interested in pursuing a career as an 'ethical hacker' which is basically someone who tries to break into a network system to find its weak points and resolve the issues."

As part of the scholarship, Mark will also join an enrichment program, involving mentoring, paid internships and overseas experience.

Westpac Scholars Trust chief executive Susan Bannigan said despite the different focus areas, all the winners shared a similar set of attributes.

"Westpac Scholars are not your everyday people. They are tomorrow's leaders, thinkers, innovators and pioneers - people from all walks of life who are united by their generosity of spirit and driven by a desire to shape a better future," she said.

"Whether it is a passion for Asia or technology, our scholarship programs are designed to empower and inspire the next generation of young leaders.

"We work closely with our university partners to create unique learning experiences that will help these young adults thrive.

"With lifelong access to professional development and unlimited networking opportunities, scholars have the power to transform big ideas into real solutions."

For more information about this year's Westpac Scholars Trust winners, visit the website.