- Austin Ockhuys is a prime example that young South Africans can overcome poverty to achieve success through hard work
- He went through the Path Out of Poverty (POP) programme to eventually matriculate in 2018
- Ockhuys’ mother passed away while he was 6 years old and has been raised by his father ever since
Austin Ockhuys reveals that many people felt he would be a high school dropout and not make a success of his life.
The odds seemed stacked against him growing up in Riverlands, on the outskirts of Malmesbury in the Western Cape.
Ockhuys tragically lost his mother following a car accident. He was just 6 years old at the time.
His father would go on to raise him on his own but the youngster received a helping hand from the Path Out of Poverty (POP) programme.
A product of the Goedgedacht Trust, the programme was launched to assist children growing up in poverty.
At the learning centre, Ockhuys was able to acquire stationery, sports gear, a warm meal and access to a PC.
The centre’s manager, Ashton Arendse, revealed that Ockhuys spent many hours at the centre and dedicated lots of energy into his schoolwork.
Arendse said, “It is a pleasure for me to be part of Austin’s life and to help ensure he has a good future.”
Ground Up reported that Arendse served as a mentor and confidante to Ockhuys.
Ockhuys said, “There were also times when I had personal problems and I could come to the POP centre and share my troubles with Ashton. He gave me advice on how to deal with things.”
Thanks to his hours of dedication, Ockhuys matriculated from Westbank Secondary School in 2018.
Briefly.co.za noted his mother served as motivation for him to keep striving for success.
Ockhuys plans to study teaching at Stellenbosch University and has applied for a 1 year internship at the Western Cape Education Department.
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