The top recipient of the 2018 Siyandisa Foundation Scholarships captivated the audience at the 2019 Siyandisa Foundation Scholarships Awards function, when she recounted the impact the scholarship had on her life.
Following her final matric exams, Molelekeng Mokoena from the Free State, with an average of 94%, held second overall position in the province and achieved first position nationally in the Quintile 1 schools’ category.
Now registered for MBChB at Wits University, she addressed the 50 top performing black matriculants from low-income households all over the country who – just as she did the year before - were being awarded the 2019 Siyandisa Foundation Scholarships aimed at empowering them to achieve the best possible results in their final matriculation exams and further tertiary studies.
She stated that the 2018 Siyandisa Foundation Scholarship Awards function marked the beginning of great things in her life.
“Before the awards I was just an ordinary female school learner from a Quintile 1 school which suffered from shortage of resources such as proper computer and science labs. Survival was dependent on teachers and textbooks you get from school. That meant that my capabilities were limited and my study options were also numbered. The dream of being rated as one of the top learners was just going to fade away with time. Even obtaining high marks in all the subjects seemed like mission impossible. In short, coming from a disadvantaged background clouded my thinking. It changed my mentality to such a point where I thought that I do not have the potential to be great like other learners.
“At the awards we were given our scholarship packs which contributed a lot to my matric achievements. There were tablets with enough data to access any study resource online and mentors to make sure that we were on the right track. That meant that I could catch up easily on my schoolwork, watch science experiments online and even study ahead of time. What I liked the most about it was that the tablets had HD videos for many subjects such as accounting and that meant that I could help my schoolmates with them. Not only did I benefit from the scholarship pack but my schoolmates also benefited a lot. Through one learner the foundation was able to change the lives of many other learners in disadvantaged schools.”
She also found that being a Siyandisa Foundation Scholarships alumnus, introduced her to a number of former Siyandisa Foundation Scholarship recipients. “When I got to Wits, I discovered that others members of the alumni were in my class, and the ones from 2017 were also nearby to offer resources and help us out during difficult times. The person you are sitting next to might be your best friend in varsity and I might be your big sister at Wits. This scholarship has so much to offer to its learners - and it does not end in high school, but continues into varsity.”
All-in-all, being a part of the Siyandisa Foundation Scholarship Programme has been “a great experience” for her. “It changed my situation from a shortage of resources to an excess of them. Getting 90s in my tests became a habit. This also meant that I could study any course in any institution. It unleashed the genius in me and built my confidence as a young African woman.”
She finally congraluated the class of 2019, and welcomed them to the Siyandisa family. “Your futures are bright already. I will forever be grateful to Siyandisa foundation for believing and investing in the dreams of African children.”
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