Thanduxolo Myende

Thanduxolo Myende loves a good challenge, but her matric exams posed the challenge of a lifetime. Her mother passed away two days into her final exams and it took every bit of determination to pass her exams well enough to still get into university. “My mother always pushed me to learn and told me that […]

Tiny Mapodile

Tiny Mapodile may have a name that means small but there is nothing diminutive about her. She may have come from a little-known South African tribe in Bushbuckridge, on the Mozambican border, but that hasn’t got in her way. This 18-year-old Pulana, who speaks Sepulana, is in her second year of a BSc in Biological […]

Pule Moltwantwa

Pule Moltwantwa, 20, is so passionate about mathematics he achieved 100% for it in matric and is determined to become a doctor in the subject. It’s not surprising then that the way this second-year University of Pretoria BSc maths student pays it forward is getting school children to understand what they can achieve if they […]

Noluthando Gatya

So often behind someone who excels is a teacher who believed in them. Noluthando Gatya, who will complete her BCom honours at the end of 2017, had such an economics teacher in high school. “Mrs Nywebeni was my special teacher in Grade 11 and 12,” says Noluthando. “She believed in me even when I didn’t […]

Nngadiseng Motaung

When Nngadiseng Motaung first heard a student on TV use the word “university” she had to look up what it meant. From that day on this small-town Free State girl was determined to study at one. This goal fitted her mother’s advice that “it is not your choice to be born poor, but to die […]

Maher Abu Ghanim

As one of ten children in his family in Tel Sheva, a Bedouin town near Beer Sheva, Maher realised that the best way to improve his life and help his community was by going to university. He decided to become a doctor because he saw members of his extended family dying for lack of access […]

Helena Meyer

Helena Meyer’s journey epitomises the power of tenacity and education to make revolutionary change happen in one generation. To say that Helena’s childhood was tough would be an understatement. She was born into a large ultra-orthodox family with 11 brothers and sisters in a northern Israel industrial town. When she was 12 years old, her mother became ill and […]

Bomikazi Ndovela

Bomikazi Ndovela comes from a family who understand the importance of education, but she is aware that many other young South Africans do not. Finishing off an honour’s degree in financial analysis and portfolio management, the 22-year-old has the world of finance at her feet, but her ambition is to help improve others’ lives, either […]

Simon Ravivi

Simon’s family moved to Hadera in Israel from Russia when he was four years old. His parents found that there were limited opportunities for work because they did not have university degrees – a lesson that they passed on to their children early on. Simon decided that he must go to university, and his sister […]

Nontsikelelo Mdontsane

When Nontsikelelo Mdontsane was born in Soweto in 1996, her mother was little older than she is now. Despite becoming a single parent at 21, her mother proved to be an impressive role model and mentor because she doing whatever it took to ensure her daughter got a high-quality education. Ntsiki, as her friends call […]