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July 10, 2017

Realising my potential

Lindokuhle

My name is Lindokuhle Ngwenya and the journey to realising my potential started when I was elected into the Zenex Foundation–ISASA Maths & English (M&E) Programme in 2008. I was afforded the opportunity to be a learner at Inanda Seminary in KwaZulu-Natal through the Programme.

At this point, I could not see beyond my immediate goal of finishing high school and getting a job. However, I started to have a bigger plan for my future when I met Mrs Swinbourne, who mentored all the M&E Programme learners. Within a month, she helped me realise all the opportunities open to me and showed me that with education, the world was my oyster. I realised then that I could go further than just finishing high school. My potential was unleashed as I became aware of the fact that there is a much bigger world out there, beyond the small village I grew up in in Mpumalanga, and the two other provinces I had some exposure to through my education, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Even though I was behind with my education, the environment and support at Inanda Seminary helped me quickly catch up with school work. I was one of the top performing learners and All-Rounder Achiever award recipient by the end of my first year. With my education at Inanda, I was exposed to extracurricular activities like Karate, where I got to participate in provincial and national tournaments, won several trophies and developed a lot of the interpersonal skills that I possess today. I also got to develop leadership skills through my involvement in outreach programmes in the community. The extent of my development and involvement in various activities, culminated in being afforded an opportunity to either go on a high school exchange programme in England or take up a scholarship to study at Rollins College in Florida, USA.

In 2011, I began my tertiary education at Rollins College, one of the most prestigious institutions of higher learning in the world. This opportunity had been beyond my dreams, given my upbringing and my background. Before my journey with the Zenex Foundation, I never dreamt of furthering my studies at a university and now I hold a degree in Economics and Mathematics from a highly reputed institution.

While I was at Rollins College I got to participate in various community service, leadership projects and travel opportunities to other states such as Colorado, New Orleans, South Carolina and more. I got opportunities to study abroad in Argentina and learn some Spanish, I led a Service Immersion to the Bahamas and participated in a Field Trip Study to Nepal. I graduated in 2015 with a well-rounded academic experience, opportunities to be a student leader, and achieved several honours at College, such as the N. Ronald Pease Award, which is given to a student who had the most significant contribution to Rollins College.

"Before my journey with the Zenex Foundation, I never dreamt of furthering my studies at a university
and now I hold a degree in Economics and Mathematics from a highly reputed institution."

I took up an employment opportunity at one of the top investment management companies in South Africa as of 2016. It has been a year since I started this exciting chapter of my life and I have just recently been awarded as one of the Top Performers for the first quarter of 2017.

I attribute my work ethic and quest for excellence to the values instilled in me during my high school years. That experience sparked a yearning in me to realise my potential; and I will be forever grateful for the opportunities I had. I now have a wider perspective of the world and what an individual can achieve with focus and determination. I hope that I will one day, be able to change another person’s worldview, just as some else saw in me something bigger than my upbringing.

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