The recipients of the July 2017 Succeeding Against the Odds Award are:
- Mavhungu Mahani
- Mohlaba Maria Selokela
- Sunette Hoffman
Twice a year, we give this award to students who have succeeded against the odds despite significant physical, social, economic, or other difficulties they have experienced. Keep reading to find out what these three students have overcome in the course of completing their studies:
Mavhungu tells us that she succeeded against the odds despite being without a stable job and despite receiving no financial assistance from her family after Matric.
“I grew up in a normal family, with a bright future and support. Things started to change when I finished my Matric. My father refused to pay my school fees to further my studies as I was his stepdaughter.”
While she was researching the costs of studying at university, Mavhungu met a lady wearing an Oxbridge Academy T-shirt, and asked her about the college and how it works. She then started working as a domestic worker to raise funds for her studies at Oxbridge Academy. Unfortunately, things didn’t go according to plan:
Mohlaba Maria Selokela
Mohlaba grew up as an orphan and only child, and she was raised by her grandmother. She says:
“I was 6 years old, so I went to school and it was not nice at all, going to school without food and uniform, it’s like a shamble, but I never give up. I told myself that I want to pass and be a professional doctor. Unfortunately after my Matric I didn’t get enough marks to get a bursary and from my grandmother’s side also there was no money. I started looking for piece jobs to get money, hoping that one day I will be able to pay school fees with the money I worked for.”
She did not give up on the idea of studying, and she has encouraging words for others in a similar situation:
After working for 17 years, Sunette made a big decision to resign from her job to spend more time with her daughters and to support them in their extramural activities. She also made the decision to further her studies, and she enrolled for the N4 Tourism course with Oxbridge Academy in January 2016.
“I was extremely excited when I received my books and student card. I was so proud of myself.”
On 2 February 2016, however, everything changed:
“I had a routine check-up with my gynaecologist. On this day, my life came to a standstill. The doctor suspected that I had cancer. I clearly remember the doctor holding my hand whilst explaining the following steps to me. This day my husband was at work and my daughters at school. I left the doctors rooms and I sat in my car in tears afraid of the unknown and afraid of dying.”
Congratulations to Mavhungu, Mohlaba, and Sunette! These three students will each be receiving a Medal for Succeeding Against the Odds, along with a Special Merit Bursary that will cover 30% of the fees of the next course that they study with Oxbridge Academy.
If you would like to be considered for this award, or if you would like to nominate someone you know, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.