SSP – Developing Future Leaders for South Africa
Its been close to 5 weeks since I started interning at Student Sponsorship Program (SSP). It focuses on providing academically excellent students scholarships to the nations best high school. These students have the capability and drive but many times lack the financial means to excel in these schools. SSP bridges this gap and offers 5 year full academic scholarships that enable these young and motivated students the opportunity to surpass their potential and drive for more.
I have been fortunate enough to meet about 9 of these students. The first words that come to my mind in describing them are: inspiring, focused, grounded, real, committed, gifted, I could go on…. But what most impressed me was their ability to express a hope and desire to better themselves, their families, and their communities. They were all aware of the unique opportunity they have deserved, there wasn’t one bit of an “entitlement” attitude in any of their answers.
What most affected me was an insistence that they will be the future leaders of a non-racist, non-sexist, democratic, united, prosperous South Africa. They are sure that they can bring about this vision, a vision that is stated in the South African constitution, but that currently is not a reality. Judging by these students’ convictions, I sincerely believe that there is hope and that change will transform South Africa into one that better reflects its constitution.
By Daniel Pulaski