Avanade's 15 for 15 Scholarship Programme makes dreams come true

Posted on May 23, 2016

The academic setting remains a challenge in South Africa for students like Ms Oratile Mokoto who come from single-headed homes and for whom tuition fees are therefore unaffordable.

Ms Mokoto is a first-year Civil Engineering student at the University of Pretoria (UP), who recently became one of the first five UP recipients of a 15 for 15 Scholarship.  The aim of Avanade's 15 for 15 Scholarship Programme is to support female students in their tertiary studies. It focusses on promoting the enrolment of more female students for degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and is expected to benefit at least 45 students globally over the next five years. The first 15 beneficiaries were selected from UP, University College London and California State Polytechnic University in Pomona, USA.

Ms Mokoto grew up in Mmabatho Unit 12, a small town in the Ngaka Modiri Molema District of North-West province, and is a former student of Mmabatho High School in Mahikeng. She says that being awarded one of Avanade's 15 for 15 scholarships is a dream come true. She strongly believes that hard work pays off and says that she lives by the principle of 'you reap what you sow' because, eventually, one has to face the consequences of one's actions.

Ms Mokoto decided to pursue a career in civil engineering, not only because it is an uncommon career for women in South Africa, but also because, according to her, the economic growth of a developing country like South Africa requires infrastructure. One of her long-term goals is to run her own construction company, which she hopes will feed back into her local community in Mmabatho. She believes that if you receive an opportunity to succeed in life you should embrace it fully and work hard so that you can ultimately help others. She believes that this is a reflection of the concept of Ubuntu. 'By empowering me, you are also enabling me to one day empower other female students in pursuing their goals,' she concludes.


- Author Mikateko Mbambo

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