The opportunity to attain a tertiary bursary is often the only option available for young people to fulfil their dreams of studying and broadening their horizons.
Shakeilah Williams, from Somerset East, in the Eastern Cape, is one such student. She received a scholarship that offered her the chance to grab hold of her dream to study medicine. This 20-year old is now a second year student, studying towards a Degree in Medicine (MB, ChB) at Stellenbosch University, a huge seven-year undertaking that would not have been possible without the support funding.
“The Cookhouse Wind Farm bursary has elevated so many concerns regarding my study expenses. I am now able to focus on my academics and don’t have to worry about debt. My pensioned grandparents are relieved as my expenses previously took a toll on their health, but now Mamma at least has one less thing to worry about,” said Shakeilah.
“The scholarship I received has meant that I was able to purchase all my books for the year and to focus on my studies, without worrying about my tuition costs. This has also lifted the financial strain from my parents,” said Courtney.
The transition from small-town life to city-life has not been easy on Shakeilah, who plans to move back to the Eastern Cape, once she has graduated, so that she can serve her community.
“When I started this degree, I planned on becoming South Africa’s very first female Coloured neurosurgeon. However, I’m not quite sure what I want to do after graduating, I do know for certain that I do want to specialize after five years of serving my community,” she added.
Learners from local high schools in Somerset East, Cookhouse, Bedford and Adelaide have the opportunity to apply for Cookhouse Wind Farm scholarships and to follow in the footsteps of their predecessors who are fulfilling their dreams at universities around the country.
The Cookhouse Wind Farm’s Scholarship programme, which launched three years ago, aims to provide tertiary education funding for youth living within a 50km radius of the Wind Farm. The focus is to contribute towards human resource development in fields considered critical for the South African economy.
The Scholarship Programme targets all high schools across the four beneficiary communities. “These High School learners have limited opportunities to access scholarships, so the Cookhouse Wind Farm’s Scholarship programme, which specifically targets learners in these towns, means they don’t need to compete against learners from other provinces,” explained Elton Gordon, Special Projects Manager for Cookhouse Wind Farm.
The programme, promoted through the high schools, to study for a qualification with a minimum of three years offers Full or Partial Scholarships. Study fields include engineering, physical science, law, pharmaceutical studies and nursing, and with the recent amendments to the Cookhouse Scholarship Policy, learners can expand their horizons by applying to TVET Colleges, which are registered with the Department of Higher Education and Training,