PHOTO: Sam flanked by his proud dad, Solomon, and mom, Albertina, with his aunt Elizabeth Ramabanyane (seated) in front of their home in Botshabelo.
Elated – that’s how he felt when he woke up to find he’d passed matric. Yet his excitement was different to that of the thousands of other young South Africans who’d aced their final school exams.
For Samuel Putsoenyane, his success proved that second chances do happen, especially if you don’t give up and have someone who believes in you.
Samuel was plucked from a gardening job at St Martin’s Private School in Bloemfontein two years ago by the headmistress, Helen Antonie, and planted back in the classroom.
In the process he overcame a troubled past that included gangsterism, a stabbing and a feeling of despondency as schoolwork got the better of him.
Not any more though.
“My confidence is up – I can do anything now,” Sam (24) announces. And he already has a new a job: he’s the administrative clerk at the new Curro school that has bought St Martin’s.
Read more of this inspirational story by Tom Raath in YOU 17 January 2013.