Arendse, who matriculated from Oracle Academy High School in Ottery last year, went up against more than 500 participants.
She was among Cape Town’s top pupils honoured by Engen Petroleum during a ceremony on Saturday at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.
Arendse lives by the philosophy that hard work and dedication will open doors. It is this belief that saw her achieving six distinctions, including 85% for science and 89% for English in the 2018 matric exams. These results ensured that she secured a place to study a BSc degree in civil engineering at UCT.
“I want to become a successful civil engineer and a proud representative of women in engineering. I also want to be a part of projects that improve both the built and natural environment by making new discoveries and making the lives of my fellow South Africans better,” Arendse said.
She spent every Saturday morning from grades 10 to 12 attending Engen’s supplementary classes at CPUT, which helped to boost her marks.
“Waking up early every Saturday morning to attend EMSS classes taught me discipline and showed me the benefits of sacrificing weekend time in order to improve and be consistent in my academics.
“The Emss classes put me at an advantage even at my own school and I knew the sacrifices would be worth it,” Arendse said.
Engen’s corporate social investment manager Adhila Hamdulay said they were proud of all pupils and their ultimate reward was to help set them up to pursue stimulating careers that would change their lives, but also benefit the economy as a whole.
Engen head of transformation and stakeholder engagement Unathi Njokweni-Magida said: “We identify, support, reward, recruit, train and develop high-potential candidates for fulfilling careers in skills-challenged fields, in support of SA’s transformational agenda and Engen’s own business.
“We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in their impressive achievements.”