Find what motivates you and use that to succeed.
That’s the advice from Trudy Barros, from Bonteheuwel, who attained the highest matric aggregate at Goodwood College in Ruyterwacht in the 2017 National Senior Certificate examination.
Trudy, 17, earned three distinctions in Afrikaans, Business Studies and Life Orientation.
She plans to study industrial psychology at the University of the Western Cape.
“I woke up at midnight and worked right through until the next morning, would write my exam and then come home and sleep and do it again the next day,” she said.
She said because gang violence could erupt at any time in the area, she feared for her safety and did not use public transport to travel to school. Instead, her father would take her.
“Many of the children could not write their exams and attend school because of the gang violence,” she said.
Trudy said she would not allow growing up in a gang-infested area to determine her future.
She said some children who grow up in dangerous and poor areas are not able to aim for high marks.
“Some children don’t have guidance and often head their own homes so they don’t have time to sit with their books, so they are happy with a 40 percent mark for a subject,” she said.
Trudy has been a member of the Junior City Council for the past four years and hopes to help children achieve their goals through her career.
“I want to plough back into the community, and hopefully with my love for business studies and industrial psychology I will be able to do that and help underprivileged children,” she said.
Her advice to matriculants who failed last year is: “Never lose hope and learn from your mistakes. Push yourself and exceed your expectations. Use your surroundings as a motivating factor to make life better for yourself and get out of
the situation that you are in,” she said.
Her father, Andre Barros, said that he is overwhelmed by Trudy’s excellent pass. He said Trudy has been a hard worker from a young age.
He said it is important for parents to be actively involved in their child’s schooling.
“Show interest in your child, attend school meetings or form part of the school’s governing body. Children need constant attention.
“Many of us did not achieve matric so parents should support their kids to make sure that they attain it,” said Mr Barros.
He said it is important for children to attain a matric certificate as many people who don’t struggle to find employment.
“We did not pressurise her to achieve certain results. She set her own targets and we supported and motivated her,” said Mr Barros.