The Matriculant of the Year competition gives Absa the platform to partner with the University of the Free State (UFS) in supporting promising students and facilitating their access to quality education to deepen knowledge and build skills for the next generation.This is according to Thabiso Moletsane, Absa’s area manager of relationship banking in Bloemfontein. Since 1981, this competition has been held annually by the UFS and Volksblad. Matriculants from all over the country can enter the competition.According to Moletsane, Absa contributes R85 500 towards this competition in the form of bursaries for the 14 finalists. Before the gala event where the winner is announced, Absa also sponsors a light dinner for the finalists, their parents and the judges. Luvuyo Jacobs, a former learner of the Brebner High School, was one of the 14 finalists in last year’s competition. He is studying towards a degree in Social Science, majoring in Industrial Psychology and Psychology, at the UFS.“So far, my university life has been exactly what I expected it to be – full of ups and downs, happy moments and the not so fun moments. “The environment here is absolutely amazing. You meet people from all walks of life that contribute to your life in many ways,” Jacobs says. “This is a safe environment for self-discovery. I am truly amazed at what university does to a person – you learn so much more about yourself and others.” According to Jacobs, the competition was his “breakthrough” to university life. He says the competition assisted him in a marvelous way. “When I entered the UFS, I already had registration money in my student account, which was truly a blessing. “This competition taught me that anything is possible with hard work. I am honoured to have been part of this wonderful experience, and to have met so many talented and exuberant people.” Jacobs is proud to be a debating coach at Brebner this year. “Imparting knowledge and experience to the upcoming generation is one of the most rewarding experiences ever. I believe that your skills are not meant for you only, but for the world at large,” he says. Call Linda Greyling on 051-401-3384 (during the morning) for more information or send an email to email@example.com.