Noxolo Ntaka

Student, University of Cape Town, South Africa

If someone had asked me seven years ago what I believed the future had in store for me, I know for sure that my response would would not even the slightest stand as a reflection of the young woman I am today. Today, I am a former graduate of the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls and a first year student studying a Bachelor of Social Science in Economics and Politics at the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Seven years ago I was in the 6th grade, born into a family that was economically disadvantaged I only hoped to go high school and maybe be the first in my family to attend university. I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa and grew up in the province of Kwa-Zulu Natal. My mother who was and still is a domestic worker, supported myself and my three other siblings on the very minimal pay she received on a monthly basis. Every December, my mother and I used to visit our family and as I look back I remain grateful for those annual trips, as it was a constant reminder to me to always aim higher than my current circumstances and to live in the fantasy of my dreams and hopes for the future. The person I am today has been significantly shaped by the values upheld by the Academy namely; compassion, honor, respect, ubuntu and service. Today, I am a conscious individual seeking to bring change in her community and the world. I hold dreams of attending Harvard University for my honors degree in Economics. I seek to be used as a Vessel of change within Africa through looking into Economic development and ending the human trafficking of Child soldiers. I am a firm believer in the power of positive thinking and aiming high. I live life through the hope that tomorrow will always be better than today and that I am one step closer towards becoming the phenomenal young woman I am meant to be.

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