Since the Kouga Wind Farm bursary programme started in 2018, one of the requirements for the bursary holders has been to ‘pay it forward’ by means of a minimum of 50 hours of community service per year. Some of them have been going above and beyond, clocking far more than the stipulated hours.
In pursuit of helpfulness
Jennalee has hit on a unique way of ‘paying it forward’ by giving back to her former high school, Humansdorp Secondary School. There she has already amassed 145 hours of community service – almost three times the minimum –by assisting Grade 12 learners with completing university applications, being part of the school’s Covid-19 screening team, and packing food parcels.
In addition, Jennalee has completed a Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL) training course and earned a certificate, which will enable her to teach online or abroad.
She says, “I am so grateful to Kouga Wind Farm for the opportunities they have afforded me. I know that I am only a student, but every year I try to accomplish something useful with the stipend they give me. Now that I am a qualified TEFL teacher, I can tutor foreign students online, and I can go abroad to teach English one day.
Empowered to inspire
As her ‘pay it forward’ effort, Stacy has already served 25 hours working at Flippie and Marlene’s Feeding Hands soup kitchen, providing much-needed nourishment to children in need. Stacy has also started her teaching practice at Kruisfontein Primary School. In this way, she will gain the opportunity to nurture and contribute to the education of the next generation. Hopefully, her service will inspire some of her pupils to follow along the same path that she has chosen.
Stacy was raised by a single parent, so getting to university was a struggle for her. She found employment, but with the assistance of the Kouga Wind Farm bursary, she finally got into Varsity College six years after matriculating.
Her determination to reach her dream of becoming a teacher, despite her family not being able to assist financially, was shown when she obtained 12 distinctions in her first year, 10 in her second year and, so far, five in her third year. Sharing her story with the rest of the bursary holders has given them so much motivation for their own paths.
Stacy believes that it takes a village to raise a child. “We all come together to help nurture these children towards better futures, regardless of where they come from. The world is generally seen as a cold place, where you need to depend on yourself, but we show the children that there are always people willing to lend a helping hand.”