The GSP provides our scholars with a range of material benefits, including school uniforms, sturdy shoes for walking through the rough terrain to school, backpacks, dictionaries, calculators, personal hygiene supplies, and candles and matches for studying after dark in a community where most homes have no electricity. The older high school scholars are also given study guides for mathematics and prep materials for matriculation exams.
Throughout the school year, our dedicated teacher mentors encourage the scholars and monitor their progress. They organize monthly meetings primarily on Saturdays, when all the scholars from both the primary school and high school can participate in a relaxed time of sharing and support. In addition, our Soweto-based KYP partner team, led by Thulani Madondo, Nelisiwe Walaza, and Thando Bezana provide committed mentoring support through regular contact with our scholars and Thapelo SiaSia conducts ongoing communications with our university students.
Since our first class of scholars reached 12th grade in 2014, we have been expanding our support for scholars preparing for and entering the post-matriculation stage of their lives. This support includes assistance with university admissions, financial aid applications, registration, residence logistics, opening a bank account, and funding for university expenses not covered by financial aid. Since 2016, we've sought vocational opportunities for those unable to attend university. With two of our graduates in a hospitality services internship as of 2018, we're committed to identifying additional apprenticeships and certification programs that can provide worthwhile paths for other graduates to pursue. Much of this effort is coordinated by KYP's Vocational Development Program Manager, Thapelo Siasia.