THE future looks bright for Alex Young.
The local youngster walked away with this year's engineering scholarship, courtesy of the Bengalla Mining Company.
Mr Young, who was joined by his parents Marianne and Stephen at Tuesday's function, has enrolled at the University of Newcastle.
He's settled into campus life and will start his studies, for a mechanical engineering degree, next week.
As part of the scholarship, he'll have the opportunity to participate in vacation work at the Muswellbrook site at the end of each year.
But, best of all, Mr Young will receive $34,000 over the four years of his degree.
"We are very proud to be able to assist young local students achieve their tertiary education goals," Bengalla Mining Company general manager Cam Halfpenny said.
"Having them come to the site and walk away with hands-on experience, project work and contributing to the business is great for the pupil - and a win for Bengalla.
"We currently boast several employees who have come through the scholarship program.
"And, they are now back and working full-time for Bengalla.
"It is great to be a part of their career progression."