Seven distinctions: No study funds for Northbury High star pupil

2012-01-09 00:00

A NORTHBURY High pupil scooped seven distinctions last week, being the first to get such accolades for the school in a number of year.

Her elation at the results was only marred by the thought that she has no funds to study further.

Denise Gengen (18) has been a model pupil since she stepped into Northbury High in Grade 8, her willing attitude and academic performance has inspired teachers at the school. Morgan Pillay, her maths teacher who was on holiday in the Cape, contacted The Witness last week to praise this model pupil.

“It has been many years since our school has had a pupil of this calibre and she serves as an example to other children in our area that it doesn’t matter where you come from, you can still achieve greatness if you set your sights on the prize.”

Pillay revealed that his star pupil was hoping to go to the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year to study for a BCom, but her family are suffering from financial difficulties.

Her father, Mickie, was retrenched in October last year after more than 20 years as a factory supervisor. The factory apparently closed down and relocated its core business to Johannesburg.

Her mother, Iris, earns income by doing odds and ends from home.

The Gengens are hopeful that Denise will get a bursary and they are praying that their brainy daughter will follow in the steps of their older daughter Nicole (23), who qualified as a microbiologist at UKZN.

An emotional Mickie Gengen did not want to talk about their finances.

“Don’t focus on my problems — let the girl enjoy her big moment. She’s our star,” he said.

Denise attributes her good results to her dedicated teachers, especially Pillay.

She said: “Mr Pillay has been so kind to me. I think he has really inspired me to do my best and I think he was a big reason I did so well. He even managed to organise a holiday job for me at the Liberty Mall.”

Denise worked as the assistant helping the photographer who took photographs of children with Santa.

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