Phophi Cheryl  Mining engineer at Anglo American - mentor Valérie Hirsch (2008)

Valerie exposed me to various universities and different career paths available; arranged meeting with a Mining Engineer. To this day Valerie still shows interest in my career and  more of a family friend . Today I hold a Mining Engineering Degree, currently working for Anglo American Kumba Iron Ore as a Mining Production Supervisor.

2008 Matriculant : Masego Precious Setlhodi - Doctor at Leratong Hospital

In 2016, I graduated as a doctor in medicine at the University of Pretoria. Saturday school at St Mary’s gave me the confidence to tackle any subject question in matric. This has helped me throughout my varsity years to the point where I got distinctions and got nominated to Join the Golden Key Society (top 75% students in their faculty) and other achievement awards. I am currently working at Leratong Hospital, hoping to specialize in Neurosurgery.

 Mashele Lebohang  - Information Technology  - mentor :Valérie Hirsch (2008)
Popphi (white tshirt) and Mashele (blue top) in 2008

I work for a company called SSA as a consultant, currently  based at Standard Bank as an administrator of the ETL software. The mentors are encouraging and funny. Valerie made sure we had knowledge about Universities and had the right documents to apply at the universities.

Mark Maimane - Degree in Town Planning- mentor : Thibault Danset (2009)

I was introduced to a smart, funny and generous mentor, Thibault. He took me to university open days and lunches. He motivated me, grew my knowledge of the real world and assisted me with essentials such as food where it was tough. Till today he is always happy to hear from me.Today I work for Setplan Gauteng.

Nhlanhla Maduna - Digital Business Integration Analyst at Accenture  mentor :Kgaugelo (2009)

Kgaugelo, who was then a student at Wits, did not only mentor me but also assisted with tutoring at my school twice a week. He also took me to a Wits and UJ open day. During my school holidays, I used to go at attend lectures with him just to get a feel on how university works. 
Today I hold a degree in BSc Mathematical Sciences majored in both Mathematics and Computational and Applied Mathematics at Wits.

Siphesihle Lolwana – Industrial Engineer  mentor : Sebastien (2010)

The Mentorship Programme helped one not only with passing your grades but with also the Varsity preparation and exposure.  Then there were all these extramural activities that help in terms of your self-esteem and having goals bigger than getting a job and support your family. I remember in 2011 after getting my grade 12 results, I was thinking of getting a Job at a retail company. My mentor asked me : "Your family survived the last 18 years with you not working, don't you think they can survive the next three years? By then, you would have a qualified job! After that first stop was UJ.
 I completed a B.Tech in Industrial Engineering and worked as  a young manager at Nestle. In September 2018, I started a Master degree in Nantes (France) thanks to a bursary from Campus France.

 Terrence Mncube Edwards.  IT specialist. Mentor : Morgan Stead (2011)

I did exceptionally well in my matric. I attribute most of my matric success to St Mary's and Sizanani. I was awarded a bursary to study a IT certification (Boston college).  I got a job offer with a prestigious company  but decide to continue with my studies. So I did a Computer Science and Informatics bachelors degree at UJ. in 2015, I did an IT Networking certification in the U.S My mentor has been extremely helpful. She was also a students so she had really good advice. She was there in all my graduations and she is still my mentor to this day. 

2011 Matriculant : Lucas Manhica, student in United States, mentor Benoit Parmentier

I was the top learner at St Mary’s in 2011 with seven distinctions. My mentors were a group of 3 young professionals from France (Prisca Foundou, Benoit Parmentier and Amandine Paulin). They gave me the opportunity to engage with professionals from different career fields. They shared experiences that helped me understand the real world, assisted me with career planning and provided insight into the work environment.

I was admitted at Wits but could not go to university because I was refused an ID document (my father was living illegally in South Africa since 1996).  But I was accepted at the African leadership academy, a top private international high school. I am now working as an Electrical Engineer in the United States after completing my studies in a local University in Michigan.

2011 Matriculant : Katlego Masebe - Food Technologist – mentor : Mark Williams



In a family of 5 siblings, I am the only one to further my studies. I now hold a B-tech in Food Technology and working towards my Master’s in Food Technology. This was not at all an easy journey. Luckily I had a pool of support around me, including  St Mary’s which gave me my first go at life and  my first computer lesson.
Sizanani allowed me to navigate around information and get an idea of where I want to go. The financial assistance from Sizanani helped me during my studies and now I am someone’s role model. Currently I am in a graduate programme at Pick n Pay Head office as a Food Technologist while doing my master.
The plan is to better myself for the next generation and that was made possible by the likes of St Mary’s and Sizanani program. 

2012 Matriculant : Masegela Charles, Mechanical engineer, mentor Marlene Pappas

Thanks to St Mary's and Sizanani, I managed to improve my results and to be accepted in Mechanical Engineering at UJ.  My mentor, Marlene Pappas from KPMG motivated me to succeed in my studies, regardless of my background.  The RATP group Foundation, a sponsor of Sizanani, paid for my studies.  I did my third year practical at “AF Compressors SA” thanks to Sizanani. They found me educated but practically unskilled. They hired me at the end of my Btech and sent me for a six weeks training in Belgium  in 2018. I am proud of myself as I am the first one in my family to go to university. 

2013 Matriculant : Martin Mashatola, IT developper

I am the first person in my family to go to university without failing a year of study and dropping out because of money and family issues. Sizanani (Belgium WBI) funded most of my studies (tuition and accommodation). This has been immensely helpful as my father is the only bread winner in the family.

I would like to be a Developer. I have already developed an App ( and am currently doing an internship as business engineer at Docqnet. My dreams ultimately are to make enough money to fund for my siblings' tertiary education and start a mentorship programme or mentor someone.

2013 Matriculant : Brillant Moyo, bachelors of accounting UJ, mentor Kyle Jenkins

Growing up, I had a dream to become a chartered accountant, and getting that dream close to reality was not
easy, especially with personal circumstances. I was in a township school with limited resources. St Mary's provided a much needed opportunity by helping me to excel at school and landed me a place in varsity with the help of Valerie. The mentorship programme offered at St Mary's was also helpful in providing me career guidance which also opens one's mind to possibilities. We would also have outdoor activities with our mentors which exposed me to a different world where I got to interact with different people and learning from their personal experiences at the same time growing inside. I am currently working as a first year associate in the audit and assurance department at PwC.

2013 Matriculant : Jennifer Nkhwashu. Advanced diploma business information technology (UJ)

Sizanani helped me to apply for university. In January 2014, I did not get funding to go to University but Sizanani awarded me a bursary. Valerie made it possible for me to graduate, she helped me with finding bursaries all through the years of my studies and I am grateful. I graduated in 2017 and did a 2 months internship at CM Company, in the Netherlands, in 2018. I am currently working at RMB (Rand Merchant bank) as a young graduate.

2014 Matriculant : Lebo Dyobeni, Bcom accounting  - mentor Gregory Knip

I am the youngest in my family and the first one to go to varsity. My parents encouraged me to look beyond any obstacles. St Mary's and Sizanani taught me the ropes of life and even helped me to apply for university, learn how to present myself in a more professional and matured and how to speak and write proper English.
I am currently doing a Bridge course at UJ which will subsequently lead to my CTA in 2019. I am currently working in the accounting departement at Total. 

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