Herschelle Williams is fulfilling his dream to become a teacher thanks to a bursary programme available to learners at Kenhardt High School.
“I have always wanted to be a teacher – I felt this was the best way to help people and be a role model for the youth in my community. There is a lot of alcohol and drug abuse among the youth in Kenhardt and I’d like to be an example to them, by showing how their lives can be about so much more, and how getting an education can provide them with so many opportunities in their future,” said Herschelle Williams.
With the assistance of an Aries Solar Power Bursary, Herschelle is studying at the University of the Western Cape, completing his final year of his Bachelor of Education degree. He is currently finishing off his 7-week teaching practical at Forest Heights High School in Eerste Rivier in Cape Town, before he completes the final stages of his degree.
When he envisions his future after completing his degree he is certain that he will head back to his home town of Kenhardt. “I would love to go back to the community of Kenhardt and teach at Kenhardt High School. I am specialising in English and Life Orientation so would like to be able to teach these subjects to the students at the school,” explained Herschelle.
Herschelle’s journey hasn’t always been easy, as he found the transition from living in his small home town to university life in a large city a big change. “It was a very difficult transition at first. My biggest challenge was getting used to using public transport and learning how it works, something I didn’t have much experience with until I came to Cape Town,” he added.
Learners from Kenhardt High School are the direct beneficiaries of Aries Solar Power’s bursary programme, a unique situation in that the programme is solely available to learners at this high school. This programme was launched to provide the opportunity to local school graduates to gain a tertiary education, with the hope that once qualified, these young people will return home to the small town of Kenhardt, and plough their skills back into this community.
“If graduates and young professionals return to this town, it will have a ripple effect and ultimately mean that Kenhardt will no longer need to recruit specialist skills from other parts of the country,” explained Anna Letsoalo, Senior Economic Development Officer for Aries Solar Power.
Learners will once again have the opportunity to apply for an Aries Solar Power bursary in October this year and can aspire to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors who are fulfilling their dreams at universities around the country. Bursary beneficiaries receive tuition fees, travel and accommodation costs, book allowances and even a stipend.
The Aries Solar Power Bursary programme, which launched in October 2016 has already benefited twelve local youth, who are now studying at tertiary institutions including University of Stellenbosch; University of Western Cape; University of Pretoria; University of Free State; Cape Peninsula University of Technology; and Hugenote College.