Academically gifted Cradock te

Academically gifted Cradock teen excels through Shell Scholarship

Siphosethu Sota, a teenager from Cradock in the Eastern Cape, is the latest graduate of the Shell Scholarship Programme, which is aimed at uplifting academically gifted high school learners from disadvantaged communities across the country.

Academically gifted Cradock te

The Shell Scholarship Programme gives recipients the opportunity to access good quality education, and in this way empower themselves for later life.

Siphosethu, who matriculated in 2016, is one of 40 children to benefit from the Shell Scholarship Programme annually. She first heard of the programme during 2014 from her former headmaster, who encouraged her to apply. She was in Grade 9 at the time.

Transformation is a business imperative for Shell which is seen as key to addressing the social inequality that exists in South Africa and for this reason, it sits at the heart of its business with an intent to achieve the true spirit of Transformation.

Siphosethu says, “I come from a small town, with a high unemployment rate and also a high rate of early, unplanned pregnancies. But I wanted to dream big, and I believed that education is the only way to improve one’s life. My application to the Shell Scholarship Programme was successful, and it gave me the opportunity to study in one of the country’s best learning institutions, the Diocesan School for Girls (DSG) in Grahamstown.”

Ntobeko Mogadime, Social Investment Manager at Shell South Africa explains more about the Programme.

“The Shell Scholarship Programme is one of Shell’s transformation initiatives aimed at powering South Africa’s progress. For Shell, transformation is all about empowering the individual so that communities can thrive and build a prosperous nation for us all. Through recognising Siphosethu’s talent and giving her the tools she needs to achieve her full potential, we help fuel a nation of equal opportunity. This is why individuals like Siphosethu are central to Shell’s transformation vision, not only for our company but for our communities and our country.”

The Shell Scholarship Programme sponsored Siphosethu’s studies for three years, based on merit, until she completed Grade 12 in December 2016. The move from a school in a very small town to DSG was a huge adjustment for her.

She says, “I came from a disadvantaged family compared to most of my schoolmates and there were times when I felt very insecure, especially at the beginning of my studies there. But, because of my hunger to learn, and my academic resilience, I managed to defy the odds and I was accepted into the University of Cape Town, to study commerce. I have been fortunate in that Shell is continuing to support my education at a tertiary level.”

“After completing my studies, the first thing I would like to do is to make positive changes at home. This would be beneficial to everyone in my community. It would enable them to see my progress, and that I have used academic opportunities to improve myself. It would show in a practical way that, through education, nothing is impossible,” maintains Siphosethu.

Shell’s progressive transformation initiatives have been instrumental in the group achieving its level 1 BEE score but more importantly demonstrates true commitment to powering the progress of South Africans through investment in education, skills development and by creating opportunities for previously disadvantaged individuals throughout the group’s value chain.

Ntobeko Mogadime concludes, “Shell South Africa is committed to transformation through educational support, partnerships and development. We wish Siphosethu all the best with her tertiary studies and we are thrilled that in the future she will be truly empowered to pass on the torch of learning, ultimately making a practical difference to her family, community and country.”

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