Students shine at bursary programme graduation

Yentil Aploon with her sponsors Pat and Kevin Whelan.

Four students from the Rotary Club of Hout Bay’s bursary programme graduated in December, including the first with a degree.

The programme has now grown to 20 students and four alumni.

Last year, Yentil Aploon was the scheme’s first student to graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in retail business management from CPUT and is now working at an online property company doing systems support.

Yamkela Nomnganga graduated with a national diploma in analytical chemistry, one of only two students from 57 who started the course three years ago.

Yamkela is continuing for another year to convert her diploma to a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

Azola Nyuka completed her national diploma in public management and will also continue for another year at CPUT to achieve her Bachelor’s degree in public management, while Lungile Nahuza also graduated with a national diploma in retail business management and will continue for another year to convert his diploma to a Bachelor’s degree.

During the year, Lungile also completed an online course in supply chain management with UCT.

The scheme offers students from Hout Bay in financial need a bursary which is seen as a “hand up” rather than a “hand out”.

Students are expected to seek the balance of their university funding from other sources including working during their holidays. Vital to the scheme is the one-to-one pairing with a mentor who supports them through not only academic issues, but also personal and financial ones.

Keith Bull, Hout Bay Rotary’s director of vocational services, said: “I am so proud of our students who have successfully made the transition from their harsh background into the world of academia. Above all we aim to match students with courses that deliver employment at the end of their studies.

“A degree in some vague subject does not necessarily deliver employment, while sought-after skills will always deliver a job in the marketplace. We have several students at False Bay College who will end up with valuable skills such as electrical engineering, financial accounting and tourism studies. One of our first graduates is now a qualified radiographer working for Morton & Partners with a fantastic career stretching ahead of him.”