Blind Feris beats the odds

2016-01-13 06:00
JUSTIN FERIS (19) was led off the stage by the Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas (right). Accompanying them are his mother, Sarah Feris (left) and the acting MEC of Education, Martha Bartlett (back).  Photo: Boipelo Mere

JUSTIN FERIS (19) was led off the stage by the Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas (right). Accompanying them are his mother, Sarah Feris (left) and the acting MEC of Education, Martha Bartlett (back). Photo: Boipelo Mere

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THE hard work of Justin Oswald Feris (19), the totally blind learner from the Retla-meleng Special School in Galeshewe, was recognised during the announcement of the matric results and the awards ceremony of the class of 2015 on Wednesday (06/01).

According to Justin, his dream of studying Psychology at the University of the Free State (UFS) is about to be fulfilled.

He has defied all odds by obtaining excellent results in the recent matric exams in spite of his diabilty.

Justin was also awarded for obtaining a distinction in Afrikaans.

He was led on to the stage by his mother, Sarah Feris (56), and off the stage by the Northern Cape Premier, Sylvia Lucas.

He was presented with a cheque of R10 000 and a laptop computer.

Other subjects that he conquered in the matric exams are Tourism, Business Studies, Computer Application, English Home Language, Mathematical Literacy and Life Orientation.

“I am very happy as I will be my mother’s first child to go to university,” said the proud learner while revealing he had five other siblings.

“I truly hope that my application will be considered. I only have to send my final results to the university to complete my application. I also applied for a bursary.”

At the time of going to press, Justin was still unsure of how he performed in his other subjects.

He said that he managed to pull through by working hard in spite of limited time for preparations.

“All I know is that I did well and was invited to the awards ceremony.

“I already got the good news through the SMS-helpline this morning. The Department of Education made my day by inviting me to come and receive an award for my hard work.

“I am truly proud to have put a smile on my mother’s face.

“She is the one who kept on motivating me to study hard and be independent.

“I want to be a psychologist to help at public hospitals and plough back to my community.”

According to him, he started gr. 1 at the Retlameleng Special School and had never repeated a grade.

“I remember how concerned I was when my mother forced me every school quarter to travel alone between Kimberley and Upington, where my home is.

“At that stage, I was still in gr. 5 and that really boosted my self-confidence.

“Now I am ready to start my Psychology degree for the next four to six years.”

His proud mother happily added that she wanted her son to get an education as he had always been a focused boy.

“He is very special in his own manner,” she added with a smile.

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