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EDUCATION HELPS LOCAL YOUTH RISE UP TO THE CHALLENGE

June is honoured as Youth Month in South Africa paying tribute to learners who lost their lives during the 16 June 1976 Soweto uprising.  To honour Youth Day 2015 the National Youth Development Agency (NYDA) has developed a programme to celebrate under the theme “Youth Action for Economic Freedom in Our Lifetime”. The question is how does one increase the number of youth reached as well as stretch into their communities to break historical boundaries to social and economic empowerment?

One example of how tertiary education is changing the lives and fortunes of South African youth is Lerato Bontsi, a 19 year old youngster from George. Lerato is a student at the Tertiary School in Business Administration (TSiBA). Despite her parents’ lack of education, Lerato always imagined herself educated and she was determined to break her family’s cycle of poor education.

Lerato is studying business leadership and entrepreneurship at TSiBA, a non-profit tertiary business school founded in 2004, an innovative learning community graduating entrepreneurial leaders who are ignite opportunity and drive social change.  The idea being that people who have the opportunity to benefit from high-quality education will rise above their challenging circumstances, help other people to access quality education and those people will help even more people.

Lerato Bontsi, 19yrs, student at TSiBA Education Lerato explains “What makes TSiBA so unique is that it not only teaches academics, but also teaches students how to deal with practical life challenges and how to cope in social situations, which gives students a competitive advantage in the job market as employers are not only looking for someone competent with numbers, they want to know that you can represent their company and interact with other people”.

Lerato speaks about the challenges facing our youth today saying that “the main challenges youth are facing today is not understanding that there are opportunities out there and sometimes it may be fear stopping them from going after their dreams. I know that now my level of education makes me different from others who haven’t been exposed to the knowledge, practical skills, leadership and self-development that I have learned at TSiBA. If youth can grasp this they will be able to better manage their emotions, their fears and decision-making abilities.



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