Lwanda Stefaans – from tutor to student with YES4YOUTH

It’s always exciting to see tutors take the next step towards reaching their professional goals. Lwanda Stefaans was a Kingsway Primary School tutor in Zandspruit in 2021 where she worked alongside fellow tutor, Rino Motladi. Now Lwanda is a first year Bachelor of Education student at the North West University. She has chosen to focus on Senior and FET phase, with a view to teaching history.

Lwanda shares her experience 

The experience of working at Kingsway was amazing! I enjoyed learning about a variety of different things. So far, I haven’t experienced anything negative, and I’m confident it will remain that way. One of the best aspects of the work is the communication between the employers and employees. I believe the YES4YOUTH platform really facilitates this relationship.

My biggest challenge was finding ways to help struggling learners. There were a few troublemakers but I soon learned to manage them so that the classroom environment was always conducive to learning. I joined a tutoring group assisting struggling pupils after school. That provided an additional way to contribute to my community and give back to those people who’ve given so much to me.

New skills with the YES Smartphone

The YES4YOUTH apps have improved my public speaking and my ability to understand other people. My favourite module is “Problem Solving and Critical Thinking.” It focuses on how to look at problems in new ways, analysing and understanding the problem before trying to solve it. I really appreciated how it taught me to think of the problem from other angles. I was able to improve my computer skills. Because of the pandemic, and everything moving online, I was forced to learn quickly. I’m proud of the skills I’ve acquired, and look forward to improving even more.

From tutor to student

I’ve always wanted to study education, and now with this real world experience at Kingsway, I’m even more certain. I have a much better understanding of the teacher-learner relationship. Being in a classroom every day helped me understand the career environment I’m entering now. Thanks to a bursary from NSFAS, accommodation at university has been the only thing giving me anxiety. Making friends has been the easiest thing to do.

I am glad I learned to communicate, to work with others, and to develop critical and creative thinking, information processing, and personal effectiveness. These skills will stand me in good stead and prepare me as I continue my journey in tertiary education.

A message for other youth

If you get an opportunity like this, grab it with both hands and give it your all. Once you’ve got your placement through YES4YOUTH, work hard at being a team player. By being a team player and working well with people you’ll thrive. If your colleagues know they can rely on you they’ll also be willing to help you when you need it. Applying for University has been the best decision I have taken so far & it has been nothing but a great experience that I think everyone should have/deserves.

YES4YOUTH and Lightstone are making a real difference for South African Youth. The JumpStart programme is creating opportunities and opening doors for me that I never could have imagined.

Be part of the change!

Support from corporate sponsors, like Lightstone, empowers talented youth to develop their potential and contribute meaningfully to the economy and restoration of learning in a soon-to-be post-Covid landscape. This partnership allows JumpStart to expand its reach while simultaneously providing youth with valuable work experience and support for their personal development.

Our best work happens in partnership with organisations committed to reducing youth unemployment. Nhlanhla Mabuza, Head of HR at Lightstone expressed his delight at Lwanda Stefaans’ progress. “Study hard, do good work, and keep your course so that you can continue the terrific work you’ve already begun in the classroom, Lwanda!” he said. “We will watch your progress with interest.”

Email Betty Oliphant for further information or get in touch with YES4YOUTH to become a business partner. Your contribution to our organisation qualifies you for a Section 18A Tax Exemption Certificate.

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