We hear from past YLEDer’s as they share their experiences and what being a part of the YLED Programme has meant to them and the impact it has made on their futures and lives.
YLED 2006 Graduate, Honors Degree in Economics ( University of Pretoria, 2010 & 2012), FNB Graduate Development Programme (2013), Project for FNB Commercial
“I had never been exposed to the term ‘Entrepreneurship’ that much before, participating in the programme was a wonderful opportunity that has opened many doors for me. It was a stepping-stone to many of the activities and roles I ventured into post-matric. Because of the programme, I was awarded a bursary with FNB for my tertiary studies (first recipient) and got the opportunity to work within the various divisions of FNB Commercial Banking during my tertiary life.
This is my third year working as Financial Accountant for FNB Commercial. I have a lot of plans for my life and plan to use the world and the opportunities it has to offer as platform to achieve those plans; these include social entrepreneurship, speaking, studying further, mentoring and more.
As leaders and ambassadors of the programme, let the passion and lessons learned spread like a wildfire onto others and keep the YLED flag flying.
To the founders of the initiative, thank you so much for coming up with such an empowering initiative, you have chosen to invest in the young leaders of South Africa, nurture their talent and give them a platform to discover and explore their potential. On behalf of the graduates, I cannot express enough gratitude to you and we owe it to you to inspire leadership and change just as you did with us.”
YLED 2007 Graduate, BCOM degree with majors in Economics and Management (Wits University, 2011), BCOM honors degree in Management (Wits University, 2012), and Post Graduate Diploma in Management (Wits Business School, 2013) Marketing Analyst at British American Tobacco
“Being a product of a single parent home, I was not new to poverty and financial lack, however as far as I can remember I always dreamed of making something out of my life. I wasn’t sure how or what I would do but I knew I would be a success. The only manner of success I knew at the time was academic achievement and I did just that.
I have since gone on to complete matric with 4 distinctions, obtain a bursary from FNB Commercial through the programme, complete my BCOM degree with majors in Economics and Management, BCOM honors degree in Management both with Wits University, and as well as Post Diploma & Management at Wits Business School.
The YLED programme is a significantly important and increasingly prestigious programme. It exposes students to life beyond High School and aids students in making university and consequently career choices. Over and above that, the diversity of the students participating in the programme laid foundations of equality and increases the confidence of students from particularly disadvantaged backgrounds.”
YLED 2008 Graduate, BA (Hons) Strategic Communication Degree (University of Johannesburg, 2012 and 2013; Consultant at INSTINCTIF Partners and founder of PlayTime Parties (Pty) Ltd
“The implementation of the Programme has changed my life in SO MANY ways unimaginable; it gave me an opportunity to learn about others and self. One very crucial thing I learnt is that I don’t know as much as I think I do. There is always room for learning.. I currently run my own business, doing kids parties in Johannesburg. Mind you, this idea sparked from the party packs I used to sell in high school. During the Programme in my grade 11 year, my first party pack contract was with the company that my mom works for. I had to make 150 party packs for the family Fun day.
Through the programme, First National Bank also paid for my University fees for 3 years, giving me the opportunity to get a tertiary education that I could not otherwise afford to get and that is thanks to Steven Zwane.
My life right now is a testimony of what the programme can do for the growth of any individual. It is important that one remembers, should they be given an opportunity of this caliber, to grab it with both hands. It gets tough having to wake up on Saturday’s and everyone at home is sleeping in or your friends are going on an outing and you have to make sure you attend every session.
My focus is now on growing my business and of course, becoming successful in everything that I do.”
YLED 2009 Graduate, BCom: Accounting Sciences Degree (University of Witwatersrand, 2014) One Day Leaders `Season 3 2014 Winner holds, Junior CEO at FNB Commercial
“My dream when I was growing up was to be part of a revolution in my own life, where I transformed the dangling discord of my background into a future that is a beautiful symphony of security and prosperity for my family and me. I dreamed and still do, of being the best. The lessons in terms of implementation have fuelled my hunger to succeed because I’m more ferocious, confident and I have a more directional approach in my life. All of this has resulted in my being head hunted and earning a bursary from ABSA, applying for Enke: Make Your Mark and being composed in my studies.
YLED is an important tool that can be used to inspire a group to be architects of revolutions in their own lives as well as lives of those around them. It can empower them to rise to the majestic heights of meeting life’s pressures with resilience and give them a weapon to use to satisfy their thirst for success.”