STUDENT Sponsorship Programme (SSP) – a non-profit trust – which has been identifying academically deserving pupils from low-income families for almost 20 years, has opened its doors for applications for the next pool of potential candidates.
The successful applicants will secure an opportunity to attend the best high schools countrywide. Partnership schools in the East London area, include Selborne College and Clarendon High School for Girls.
Recipients of the programme receive a five-year high school scholarship at schools that are part of the programme.
One such recipient is Anesipho Nkonkobe, who has been part of the programme for two years.
“I heard about this when I was in grade 6 when my teacher gave me forms to take home and fill out. In grade 7, I went to a holiday programme for English, Maths and Natural Science. Out of the 10 there, four were chosen for the programme,” said Nkonkobe.
Currently in grade 10 at Clarendon High School, she described her experience as amazing.
“We receive a lot of support, she said. “There’s also the June holiday programme, a leadership programme and we have a lot of mentors”.
For Anesipho’s mother, Nomfudo Nkonkobe, this opportunity came as a huge financial relief as they only have a single income.
“If she didn’t receive this, I don’t think she’d be at Clarendon. As parents, you want the very best for your kids but you’re limited financially,” Nomfudo said.
She added that SSP motivates the kids and the amount of support they receive is enormous.
As for Anesipho ‘s aspirations, she hopes to to study actuarial science when she finishes matric.
SSP Communications director, Alexandra Smit-Stachowski says the benchmark for youngsters is that they should not be older than 12 years in Grade 6 and have achieved 70% for Maths, English and Natural Science.
“The 10-month recruitment process includes an entrance exam, interviews with parents and guardians, tests to assess intellectual quotient (IQ), emotional intelligence tests, and a camp to see how they get on with other youngsters,” Smit-Stachowski said.
She said that the programme aims to nurture future leaders.
Support for orphans and vulnerable children is also offered.
Application forms are open until August 31 available on the organisations’s website www.ssp.org.za.