The School of Hope is a place of learning where we value HOPE FAMILY TRANSFORMATION RESPONSIBILITY AND GIVING. We are education-junkies, sold out to breaking the cycle of crime, poverty and unemployment by giving every person the chance to complete their education. There is nothing more important that we can do for South Africa today!

Thursday, December 1, 2011

December News

Kirsten and her mom, Jeanette, at her matric dance in April this year
Kirsten Cupido (20) dropped out of school in 2008 and spent the year at home, despondent. “I started to believe the lie that I was not good enough,” said Kirsten. She joined the School of Hope in 2009 as a quiet and timid Grade 10 learner. She surprised us in the middle of the year, when she ran for school Captain. In spite of making an outstanding speech, she lost to the charismatic Manhino Dias (matriculated 2010). Nonetheless, she ran again in 2010 and, yet again, lost to another outstanding leader, Fatimah Santon (Grade 11). Nonetheless, she continued to lead in many unrecognised ways; at least they were recognised by the general school population, but those astute amongst the staff certainly noticed. In her Grade 11 year, she made a life-altering decision to end the dysfunctional relationship she was in, to concentrate on securing a better future for herself. It was a decision that would change her life.Since then, she has shown consistency in her academics and has been a positive influence on her peers from Grade 10 till this day. In her words: “I never saw myself as the leader type, but my peers often commented on my good decision making.”

Kirsten is very enthusiastic about the prospect of studying further in the field of hospitality. At the Awards Evening she was named 2011 School of Hope Valedictorian. She is also the first recipient of the “Denver Andreas Award.” Denver Andreas was the founding principal of the School of Hope and served as such until 2003. In 2004, he was tragically killed in a motorcar accident, alongside his beloved wife, Rene. He was a champion of youth-at-risk and vulnerable children. It was difficult to know Denver and not be inspired by him. With this in mind, the Thembalitsha Foundation will make available R20 000 in Denver’s honour towards the study fees of each year’s Valedictorian.

Kirsten’s mom, Jeanette Cupido, wrote the following after the Awards Evening:

“When Kirsten joined School of Hope in 2009, we were pleased as we needed her to complete her school career. Little did we know that she would achieve such phenomenal results, and because of this we enrolled her brother, Kyle, a year later. Our children have not been happier or more eager to go to school.

The awards evening was spectacular (as it is every year).  Not only are the students awarded for good grades but also for their dress, attendance, leadership skills and perseverance. I particularly like the fact that the post matriculant’s progress is followed by the school, long after they leave. All through the Awards evening there was a general feeling of belonging and closeness, which I feel is evident in the good grades that most of your students achieve. It was also very interesting to see what has been achieved throughout the year and also the different activities that took place.

 Once again, thank you for awarding Kirsten the Valedictorian for 2011 and the bursary, which could not have come at a better time. I am sure I speak for all your students and parents when I say.....A BIG  THANK YOU to the Principal and staff for their dedication, patience and sacrifice to see our children complete their school careers.”

Amanda Nortjie, Thembalitsha’s fundraiser, was a special guest at our Awards Evening. Amanda said:

“I have been to a few graduations in my time, four to be exact, but what was it that made this one stand out most for me? Knowing the backgrounds of most of these learners, one knows the challenges and the hurdles that they overcome. There is a tangible bond between the learners as well as one between the learners and their Educators. Differences are embraced, hurdles overcome and a genuine celebration of work is experienced. The exuberance and celebration that took part in that hall that night ….if only one could bottle that and sell it! (As a fundraiser I think of any opportunity!) Last but not least, God is in that place in each and every heart, sowing a seed through the work of this school and the honoring of His children, both learners and educators. The best way to end off any graduation is with the school song. This school has the best school song I have ever heard (including my own). This particular night saw it being sung with extra gusto and to stand amongst those learners singing it, was a privilege. Laura and her staff are to be commended for the level of sincerity and the magic felt on that night. The learners are to be commended for being overcomers and achievers. What a fantastic celebration!”

Congratulations Kirsten and all the amazing Matrics of 2011. You inspire us to persevere.

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