Jesslin Samboya (22) from Pella in the Northern Cape, is on track to complete her Bachelor of Education degree this year. She tells a heartwarming story of overcoming personal tragedy to pursue her dream profession, with plans to return to Pella as a qualified teacher and the hopes of studying towards her Honour’s degree and possibly a Master’s in Education.
Jesslin who applied for and was awarded a Konkoonsies Solar Power bursary in 2017, after attending a presentation from the solar plant at her school, suffered the loss of her leg two years later, due to a medical complication. She didn’t let this massive physical set back deter her from her goal and has continued successfully on her set path.
“This scholarship has meant so much to me and my family, especially after everything that happened to me and how my life has changed. It has allowed me to pursue my dream of teaching despite my challenges. When my studies are complete I would like to return to Pella to teach but I also have a dream to study further in this profession,” said Jesslin.
Having come from a small rural Afrikaans town, the move to Cape Town to study at Varsity College took some adjustment, but her grasp of English has improved and she has adjusted to city life and enjoys campus life along with all the benefits of a larger social environment.
Teaching wasn’t Jesslin’s first choice of career, but having been inspired by her high school Afrikaans teacher, she was encouraged to take up teaching and hasn’t regretted the decision since. She is now even seen as a role model in Pella, taking on the responsibility of encouraging other young community members to seek a path to their dreams.
Jesslin is one of five beneficiaries of the Konkoonsies Solar Power Scholarship Programme, which is open to learners living in Pella, Pofadder and Onseepkans. The financial assistance covers the cost of tuition fees, travel, accommodation costs, book allowances and even a stipend. It focuses on building scarce skills in the communities, with the intention of graduates returning to their home towns and bringing back their skills.