Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development closes off a remarkable year with a graduation ceremony for its 2019 cohort Johannesburg: Saturday, 26 October 2019
On Saturday, 26 October 2019 Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED) held its graduation for the learners who had participated in the 2019 programme. YLED is a not for profit organisation established in 2004. Over the last 15 years, the organisation has equipped close to 20 000 grade 11 learners with critical skills— developing them through interventions that expand their personal, academic, professional and entrepreneurship horizons.
The graduation event, attended by more than 150 friends and family of the learners, representatives of the schools that they attend and our sponsors and partners, celebrated the learners’ achievements. Thirty-six learners completed the 2019 programme, of which 18 learners were awarded various individual and team certificates.
2019 taught us that over and above learning and growing, the YLED cohort chose to take up the role of activism. Choosing self-identity as one of the biggest challenges teenagers face. They took it upon themselves to encourage the young people of today to be themselves, to live a life of purpose and meaning, and celebrate their unique qualities. One of the graduates remarked, “We know that it takes greater inner belief to step up and pursue the life we want to live and the goals we want to achieve; therefore building self-esteem is critical, and the YLED journey helps us to embark on that expedition”.
Every year, the cohorts take part in the Youth Entrepreneurship Challenge, which sees the learners split into teams. Each team forms an enterprise that has to sell products and/or services of their choice, to understand the critical elements of running a business and making a profit. The experience is rich and ignites a real understanding that to build a profitable business takes hard work, teamwork and a willingness to go the extra mile.
“Being chosen as a GM made me nervous, but I embraced it and traveled the self-discovery journey with the team. We grew together, we learnt about business and now know that sales are truly the lifeblood of the business. We are grateful for the selflessness of the YLED volunteers who give up their Saturdays so we can be better prepared for the future that lies ahead” – Koketso Jordan, General Manager, Simply Synergy
“Being able to work under pressure, communicating and preparing with my running mate was stressful but a good journey.” — Nomthandazo Mabuza
The organisation itself was, amongst other achievements, celebrated for its partnership with My School —providing an alternative channel for YLED to raise funds.
As part of the graduating, Deanne Chatterton, CEO of Instinctif Partners Africa shared some of her thoughts. “We, as leaders, have a responsibility and a duty of care to prepare the future leaders of tomorrow. The world they face is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and we need to ensure that we are capacitating the youth to navigate these headwinds, enabling them to be successful in their own lives and to embrace their purpose.”
YLED NPO Member and Operations Manager, Mr Tebang Ntsasa, closed the event by thanking the learners, parents, schools and sponsors of this year’s programme. Fourteen schools from throughout Gauteng participated in the 2019 programme.
The top honours of the YLED 2019 Programme went to:
• Best YLEDer: Simone Pillay, Glenvista High
• Leadership Award: Koketso Jordan, Brackenhurst high
• Equaliser Award: Matladi Laka, McAuley House
• Entrepreneurial Spirit: Bonke Msibi, McAuley House
• Best Overall YEC Enterprise: Sync (YEC enterprise company that sold Sweet Jars and Tote Bags)
• Best General Manager: Bonke Msibi, McAuley House
YLED Top 6 learners
o Phiwokuhle Nhlapho, Alberton High
o Mapula Satekge, Glenvista High
o Simone Pillay, Glenvista High
o Nandipha Redebe, Glenvista High
o Lesedi Mthembu, Glnvista High
o Matladi Laka, McAuley House
The 2020 YLED programme will kick off in January 2020 and applications will open in on the 13th of January 2020.
Youth Leadership & Entrepreneurship Development (YLED) is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2004 by Mr Steven Zwane. Each year YLED takes Grade 11 learners through a rigorous leadership and entrepreneurship programme, equipping them with skills that will ready them for life post-high school with special focus on tertiary education and beyond. The programme comprises different interventions — including but not limited to camps, exposure to real-life career, entrepreneurship experience, workshops, community outreach work, and results-based projects.
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