On Monday,25 November 2013, 18 national finalists of the inaugural STEP UP LET’S LEAD 2013 National Youth Leader Awards were recognised and an overall winner was chosen - Zuzeka Goba from the MFULENI HIGH SCHOOL in the Western Cape.
It was an inspiring evening, and a humble experience for me to hear the personal stories of these young leaders that rose to the occasion .USB-ED was prominently mentioned and thanked for our involvement in the project, We received a standing ovation from all the attendees.
The process leading up to these Awards involved underprivileged high school learners in Grades 9, 10, 11 and 12, being bussed to and from cinemas nationwide to watch the STEP UP LET’S LEAD 90 minute film. This film aimed to introduce learners to the fundamentals of leadership and was screened at 15 different cinema complexes nationally during August, September and October this year.
Having watched the movie and having subsequently digested the contents of the comprehensive booklet, learners were encouraged to step up, assume personal and social responsibility to make positive changes for themselves and their communities and to apply to enter the STEP UP LET’S LEAD competition.
Our finalists have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and have implemented them successfully in their respective schools and/or communities. Guided by their values, these individuals have indeed stepped up and lead by assuming personal and social responsibility for making positive changes to themselves and their communities.
A judging panel, comprising of strategic partners and sponsors, undertook the difficult task of deciding who from these 18 finalists has excelled in putting in place the most sustainable leadership activities. These individuals will be rewarded not only with the honour and prestige of winning, but also with a tangible prize that will change the course of their own and possibly their family’s lives forever.
STEP UP LET’S LEAD was made possible by Glencore, as the key sponsor, together with co-sponsors Medscheme; Tiger Brands; merSETA; PUTCO; National Youth Development Agency; DHL, in conjunction with SOS Children’s Villages; Old Mutual and Brand South Africa.
Other sponsors who assisted include VWV; Tsogo Sun; Standard Bank and recently, both ACSA and UBS came on board. The project also acknowledges Brightest Young Minds; Larry Hodes; Simon Mtsuki and Sibusiso Molimi for their assistance in preparing the finalists.
Six organisations have generously sponsored educational bursaries for the Top 6 learners who have demonstrated exceptional leadership skills: the University of Stellenbosch Business School - Executive Development; Kelly Group; Raizcorp; Eduloan; Nampak; Afrika Tikkun and the JSE.
USB Executive Development donated a place in their prestigious gap year programme. This 10 month programme concentrates on entrepreneurial development and the first phase will be hosted at Stellenbosch University.