An Alexandra boy has made history by being one of 18 finalists of the inaugural Step Up Let’s Lead 2013 National Youth Leadership Awards, and was recognised for his outstanding leadership qualities as a young person.
Neo David Mpete (16), a Grade 10 pupil at Liberty College in Bramley, was among four pupils in Gauteng and the Western Cape who received more than R200 000 in full bursaries from Afrika Tikkun to study for four years at a university of their choice. The bursaries would cover tuition fees, accommodation, meals, boarding, textbook requirements and a monthly stipend.
Asked what and where he would like to study, Mpete, an Alex-born resident of 9th Avenue, said he was interested in financial law and would like to study at Wits University. “I can’t wait to complete school. I will use the remaining two years to study hard and ensure I obtain the required and relevant marks and grades to see me through,” he said.
On his long road to becoming one of the 18 finalists, Mpete entered a competition at his school, where he was finally nominated for the prize.
“He is a promising young man who has a bright future ahead of him. It is no wonder why as Afrika Tikkun, we have decided to invest in him for his future and the future of Alexandra,” said Herby Rosenberg, a director and one of the founders of Afrika Tikkun.
The Step Up Let’s Lead programme is aimed at teaching young people fundamental leadership skills needed to take this country forward. “We hope to produce the future Nelson Mandelas of this country, continent and world,” remarked Rosenberg as he awarded Mpete his bursary ‘dummy’ cheque.
The finalists have demonstrated outstanding leadership qualities and have implemented them successfully in their respective schools and communities. “Guided by their values, these individuals have indeed stepped up to lead by assuming personal and social responsibility for making positive changes to themselves and their communities,” said Martin Sweet, the brains behind the programme. The overall winner of the programme was Noluthando Mathe from Lethulwazi Comprehensive School in Voslorus.