Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) top learner is all set to pursue her dream of becoming a surgeon after bagging seven distinctions in matric.
An alumnus of Grosvenor Girls’ High School, Blaze Kazlin Timothy, from Wentworth, KwaZulu-Natal, plans to study medicine at the University of KwaZulu-Natal this year.
Growing up, Timothy’s greatest challenge was witnessing her mom’s constant financial battle to support the family.
“As a single parent it has been a real struggle for my mom to pay my school fees, and afford textbooks and other basic necessities, which is why I am grateful to have been part of the free Engen Maths and Science School programme,” reflects Timothy.
Timothy added that she diligently attended the Engen supplementary classes every Saturday for three years from Grade 10 to 12 at Fairvale Secondary and she believed that the programme was instrumental in her obtaining seven distinctions in matric.
“The EMSS programme provided me with much-needed additional resources as well as access to excellent teachers who helped me achieve full academic potential,” she said.
The programme has run for more than 30 years offering underprivileged Grade 10 to 12 learners free supplementary maths, science and English tuition on Saturdays at nine locations across the country.
These include Cape Town (classes at Belgravia and Manzombotho High), Port Elizabeth, East London, Cala and Johannesburg, and in KwaZulu-Natal, where classes are hosted at Fairvale High School, Ganges High School, Howard College, and Mangosuthu University of Technology.
The 429-strong EMSS matric class of 2021 attained a 77% overall pass rate, of which 64% attained bachelor passes.
Reflecting on a challenging 2021, Timothy said limited resources, online learning and having to take extra precautions regarding health and safety added to her stress.
“Despite the adversities we face, my mom always remains positive and believes in my potential, which has helped me to stay strong in the toughest of times and to never give up on my dreams. My daily motivation is knowing that by persevering through my hardships and overcoming each obstacle, a better life awaits my family and I in the future.”
Timothy’s advice for the matric class of 2022: “Manage your time efficiently and remain dedicated to your academic studies despite any challenges and problems you may encounter during the year.”
Engen’s manager of transformation and stakeholder engagement, Dr James Nyawera, congratulated Timothy and the EMSS class of 2021.
“Engen is incredibly proud of Timothy and all the EMSS learners who completed matric in 2021, despite extremely trying circumstances. Well done to all for showing true grit and determination.
“The EMSS programme seeks to harness the potential of talented young people in difficult circumstances and to also contribute to the pool of scarce skills in the country,” said Ntawera