Teenagers determined to succeed

2019-08-13 06:00
Grade 12’s Azraa Timm, Talia Petersen and Chelsea Martin look forward to what the future holds. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

Grade 12’s Azraa Timm, Talia Petersen and Chelsea Martin look forward to what the future holds. PHOTO: SIPHESIHLE NOTWABAZA

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It has been 12 years since these learners first walked into a classroom.

The journey has been filled with ups and downs but they are now more excited than ever about what the future holds.

Despite all the hurdles they have to overcome to get where they wish to be.

Talia Petersen, Azraa Timm, and Chelsea Martin X all 17 years old and Grade 12 learners at Mount View High School X share their dreams and passions.

They speak about the challenges they face as teenage girls growing up in Hanover Park and what Women’s Month means to them. They were all born and raised in the area. For them, Hanover Park is home and they agree, there is no place like home.

They say despite all the challenges they face, they will push harder to make names for themselves and inspire others.

Talia says the situation in Hanover Park makes her sad because learners have become used to things they are not supposed to be used to. “A lot of us come from broken homes with absent fathers.”

She adds that drug abuse and teenage pregnancies are common. “(So) living here is very tough but we want to succeed.”

Her advice to fellow teenagers is to focus on the positive and not to waste their energy on the negative.

“Living in Hanover Park could be seen as an advantage because the situation pushes us to strive to succeed so that we can better our situation,” she explains.

Next year she plans to study teaching because it has always been a passion of hers.

“I want to make a difference. I want to come to my school one day and teach here,” she says.

Talia is a community builder at heart. In her spare time, she volunteers at various community organisations. 

One she is particularly fond of is the Peace Ambassador project, which is all about bringing change to the community. 

As a peace ambassador, she had the opportunity to go to Parliament where she, with other teenagers, got to interact with council members. 

Charity work includes helping those in need or being assigned as tutors to assist other learners in subjects like mathematics.

“We sometimes help families that are less fortunate and provide young girls with sanitary pads,” she explains.

For Azraa, the challenges of living in Hanover Park are sometimes overwhelming. 

“There are shootings in the area and some of us have parents who are drunkards. We have to look after our young siblings after school,” she shares.

She believes education is another way to spread a positive message among learners, inspiring them to do better.

“I want to go into teaching because I like to motivate others and I like it when I can be of benefit to others,” says Azraa.

She feels like she does not have a role model. 

“I do not have one (role model) but I know who and what I want to become and I will stop at nothing to achieve it,” vows Azraa.

The teenager says she does not have time for extra-mural activities because she is completely focused on her studies. Her desire to do well in the final exam drives her. 

All three agree that their teachers are instrumental in helping them do well in their studies.

Chelsea says she loves working with money. She has a lot of business ideas and that is why she wants to study business next.

“When I was younger, I wanted to study law but I realised there are a lot of career opportunities in business,” she explains.

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