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SAEON ADVENVIRO Kid opts for a career in medicine

Voted Face of 2008 by SAEON’s Advenviro Kids (Picture: Joe Sibiya)
Gaynelle (right) chairs group discussions during the science camp (Picture: Joe Sibiya)
Gaynelle - ready to face the challenges of a career in medicine (Picture: Joe Sibiya)
- By Joe Sibiya, Education Outreach Officer, SAEON Ndlovu Node


A question ADVENVIRO Kids are invariably asked before a camp is what their career choices are.

This was no exception with the class of 2008. One of the learners, Gaynelle Makhubele confidently responded: ‘With the abilities and talents I have, I’m planning to study toward medicine. I will also be involved in the business world.'

These were big dreams for a learner of her age, but judging by her grades, positive attitude towards life and exuberant confidence no-one doubted her claims. Gaynelle proved to be one of the strong and focussed learners at the camp. The group chose her as the 2008 ADVENVIRO Kids representative. She led the group in putting together a well-documented camp learning experience report entitled ‘An impossibility is an opportunity’.

In October 2009 we were again in contact with Gaynelle and found that she was still keen on following her dream career in medicine. In January this year we tracked down all the 2008 ADVENVIRO Kids to find out how they had performed in grade 12. It was no surprise to discover that, with four distinctions, Gaynelle was one of the top performers at Frans Du Toit High School.

When asked whether she still intended to pursue a career in medicine, she replied: "With these results the doors are open - it is my dream to be a medical doctor." Gaynelle was ready to leave Phalaborwa for Cape Town to start a new life as a medical student at the University of Cape Town (UCT).

On 19 January this year I paid Gaynelle a surprise visit at her parents’ home to ask her to write a brief story about her achievements. Below is her unedited story on how she aced grade 12:

"Yes I did it! I’m finally done with matric and a lot of doors are open for me. Thank you Lord for helping me through a tough year.

"What a year 2009 was. Busy, busy, busy was my daily song. I was a Learner Representative Council member, an athlete, netball player and a debater at Frans Du Toit High School. I had a busy year - every weekend I was either doing my bus duty (when going to other schools for sport meetings or participating in a sport event). Busy was my middle name.

"I catered for my studies during weekends too. I made sure that I followed my study timetable which I drew up every term to balance sport activities and studies. This helped me to maintain my position in the Top 5 for Academics at Frans Du Toit.

"Through hard work, dedication and determination to succeed in my studies throughout the year, I managed to get four distinctions which were:

Accounting 82%

English (FAL) 83%

Life Orientation 89%

Mathematics 94%

"As for my other subjects, I got Bs for them. My average was a distinction (81%).

"I’ll be furthering my studies at the University of Cape Town. I’ll be doing a Bachelor’s Degree in Medicine and Surgery (MBChB) which has a study duration of six years.

"To those in matric, hard work does pay off. Give your all this year and don’t let anything stand in your way. Go out there and get what you’ve dreamt of having.

"Unto SAEON, I’m glad to have had the opportunity to go to the camp that ultimately led me to Swadini to learn about my surroundings. I saw things which I doubt I’d see in the future if it weren’t for you. I had a wonderful experience. My experience with your team opened my eyes about nature. Keep up your good work in making children aware about nature and its career opportunities."

The SAEON Ndlovu Node would like to congratulate Gaynelle on her achievements and wish her well as she ventures into her chosen profession.

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