Paying it forward: UP mentorship-trained scholars return from Australia to pass on leadership skills

Posted on April 18, 2019

Early this year, the Australian Indigenous Mentoring Experience (AIME) in association with the Student Representative Council (SRC) at the University of Pretoria (UP) presented UP students with an exciting scholarship opportunity: to spend a week in Australia, train in mentorship with AIME, then return to South Africa to lead the programme at the university for a year, as well as pass their knowledge on to communities and schools.

Four students took part in the scholarship programme, which includes training from several influential leaders from around the world, and recently returned from their trip to Australia.

“AIME’s programme has totally changed my life for the better after our trip to Sydney with both Australians and Americans,” says scholarship recipient Paseka Gaola, a second-year BCom Law student. “I heard about how they’re changing lives in their different walks of life, and started to perceive life in a different way.”

Lebogang Chiloane, a final-year BEd General Senior Phase student, is another recipient. “AIME’s programme is a tool for the empowerment of others,” she says. “I’ve had the opportunity to meet people from Australia, America and parts of Africa, and they all want to make a positive impact in the lives of young people, just as I do. Having this global family offers insight into how other people solve problems and helps me to see the world from a different perspective.”

“We need a programme like AIME to give university students a chance to be leaders and change-makers within their communities,” adds Malebo Nkosi, an Engineering Technology Management student who was also granted the scholarship. “We have a structured programme to help us introduce the AIME model at the university and in communites. This will be done by recruiting mentors from UP, showing them how the AIME model works, and the activities required of them, and coaching them to become the best mentors they can be.”

The one-year scholarship (February 2019 to February 2020) is valued at more than R680 000 and includes:

- Return flights, accommodation and a ticket to the world’s first Festival of Mentoring, to be held in Australia from 19 to 26 February 2019.

- AIME start-up kit for the year.

- Direct mentorship and coaching, and world-class learning and development.

- Licences to AIME systems, alumni network, tools and access to ongoing AIME training.

For more information about the next AIME programme, contact UP’s Student Representative Council by emailing [email protected] or [email protected]

- Author Xolani Mathibela

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