Since 2000, the Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP), a non-profit trust, has provided educational opportunities to hundreds of talented South African students from low-income families to attend the best secondary schools in Gauteng and the Eastern Cape.
With the generous contributions of institutional and individual sponsors from South Africa, the US, and the UK, SSP gives five year high school scholarships to academically distinguished students. Our students are carefully selected following our competitive application process beginning in grade 6 based on academic excellence, financial need and leadership potential. Following a yearlong bridging programme in grade 7 (the Scholars Development Programme), shortlisted candidates are then placed at our partner schools in grade 8.
SSP’s commitment to our scholars is not only financial but we also provide for their personal development needs. We provide continued support through the mentorship programme where each student is paired with a mentor. The mentor provides additional guidance throughout the mentee’s high school career. When this relationship is properly nurtured, mutually rewarding friendships have emerged from this programme.
The final component of the SSP model in addition to financial assistance and mentorship is leadership development. SSP’s vision is to develop “Leaders for South Africa” who are committed to the creation of a non-racist, non-sexist, democratic, united and prosperous South Africa as articulated in the South African Constitution. Our hope is that once our scholars become alumni they will remain committed to public service and are people of influence in their respective careers.
For over a decade, despite coming from disadvantaged backgrounds, our scholars have flourished when given access to quality high school education. Nearly all of our scholars successfully matriculate, attend or have attended tertiary institutions and a select few have been awarded the opportunity to further their studies in the US.