Scholarships for 25 gifted Free State matriculants to cement a promising future
Today in Bloemfontein 25 courageous grade 12 learners from the Free State who have excelled at academic level despite tremendous personal challenges, were awarded the very first Siyandisa Foundation Scholarships.
This unique scholarship programme provides study and personal support to top performing black grade 12 learners who come from low-income households, aiming to empower these recipients to achieve excellent results in their final matriculation examinations. After Grade 12 scholarship recipients also automatically come into consideration for further exclusive pre- and post-graduate bursaries under the scholarship programme, based on their matric and tertiary education results.
“What makes this Scholarship Programme like no other is its focus on providing vital resources and support to promising black grade 12 learners in their matric year. We are of the view that insufficient attention is paid to the support of these top candidates. These learners, often from rural environments, have managed to overcome massive personal challenges and difficult financial and family backgrounds to stand as our top academic performers in the Free State. Our goal is to celebrate and support these young people and invest in their potential. Accordingly, we have established a focus on ‘Growing excellence’ in our scholarship programme and through this initiative provide a vital stepping stone to higher honours for these gifted individuals,” says Sam Moleko, Chair of Siyandisa Trust and spokesperson for the Siyandisa Foundation.
Having showcased their academic prowess by achieving an 85% or higher average across their Grade 11 subjects and thereby demonstrating a commitment to excellence, it is precisely these learners that the Siyandisa Foundation seeks to support. “The main aim is to ensure that they are armed and ready to enter the world of tertiary education with everything necessary to make a success of their prospective careers.”
The Siyandisa Foundation was established by Siyandisa Trust, a South African black-owned investment business focused on investing and establishing strategic partnerships with investment partners across a number of industry sectors in South Africa. “We at Siyandisa Trust believe in our future and invest intentionally for development, growth and empowerment and see ourselves as a partner focused on helping grow South Africa. It is this same vision that has inspired, driven and motivated us to establish the Siyandisa Foundation Scholarship Programme – to invest in the leaders and success stories of tomorrow and in this way also contribute to our collective future,” adds Moleko.
Today the Siyandisa Foundation, as part of the scholarship offering, provided each of the deserving recipients with Samsung tablets and data access through scholarship partner Vodacom, to provide a technology platform for learning. With these tools, recipients gain access to custom developed video lectures by top teachers in five key subjects, namely Physical Science, Mathematics, English First additional language, Life Sciences, and Accounting; access to the My Top Dog online learning platform as an additional supplement to the aforementioned lectures in eight Grade 12 subjects; stationery; financial calculator; power pack for electronic devices; and a financial incentive of R1 000 per matriculation distinction achieved.
Recipients also receive invaluable career counselling and guidance; bursary and university application support; and vital mentorship and life-coaching by top mentors to empower them with the necessary soft skills to face the challenges of tertiary studies.
As a final incentive to work hard and achieve academically, each recipient will automatically be considered for the award of three tertiary education bursaries to the value of R50,000 each to be paid to three recipients in furtherance of their tertiary studies.
“The fantastic positive energy amongst the students, commitment to the learning process and the ability to overcome stumbling blocks through hard work, fills me with excitement for the future of this country,” reflects Gustav Fichardt, Project Coordinator of the Siyandisa Scholarship Programme.
Although hard to single anyone out, especially inspiring is the story of Emmanuel Mofammere from Lenyora la Thuto School in Botshabelo with an academic average of 90%, who wants to fulfil a childhood dream of becoming an astrophysicist. He initiated a “camping project” at his school for learners to sleep over at school to study together and create a learning environment which they often do not have at home. “I am in need of the holistic support provided by Siyandisa to further my studies and allow me to qualify for the best opportunities available,” he remarked during the application process.
There’s also Refilwe Selepe from Rantsane Secondary School in Phuthaditjhaba with an academic average of 93%, who wants to study medicine to help increase the number of medical doctors in South Africa. In so doing she hopes to work on cures for severe diseases like cancer. “My dream of becoming a doctor from a poor background may be fulfilled with the assistance of the Siyandisa Foundation. I see myself putting smiles on the faces of people standing in long queues and helping those who are vulnerable and dependent on me,” she shared.
In turn Tshele Majake from Beacon Secondary School in Phuthaditjhaba, with a current academic average of 87%, specifically wants to make a difference in his hometown of Qwaqwa and other rural communities by improving the roads and general infrastructure - and therefore prefers to study civil engineering. “I feel that this will decrease unemployment and draw many tourists to this beautiful part of the country” he says.
Equally inspiring among the other recipients are dreams of becoming mathematicians, astronomers, actuaries, astrophysicists, aeronautical and biomedical engineers and neurosurgeons.
According to Moleko, the Siyandisa Foundation plans to expand this programme nationally with scholarships to be awarded to deserving candidates in their Grade 12 year across all nine provinces of South Africa in 2018.
“We at the Siyandisa Foundation are incredibly excited about what this programme can and will achieve, and the importance of this for our shared future,” he concludes.
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