Youth Readiness success stories

University of Johannesburg Student and PYMA Alumni
University of Johannesburg Student and PYMA Alumni

Alumni Spotlight- Fhulufelo Cyril Malise

My name is Fhulufelo Cyril Malisa, I joined PYMA in 2017 while I was a Grade 11 learner at Silver Oaks Secondary school. I grew up in a family that struggled financially, and I chose not to perceive that as a challenge but an opportunity to become a better individual. I fought for a better tomorrow the best way I know how through education.

Joining PYMA was the best decision I have ever made during my high school years. I never believed in that afterschool programme but as soon as I joined PYMA, that entirely changed my perception from thinking that such programmes are primarily for learners who struggle with their studies. I for one was such a learner and I never thought that in a short period of time, I could be the top achiever at Silver Oaks. 

Being a top learner boot one’s confidence, I decided to remain with PYMA in 2018 when I was in matric (Grade 12). I still obtained brilliant marks throughout my matric year, acquiring a distinction in both Mathematics literacy and History studies. I was getting closer to achieving my goals, PYMA further assisted me to apply to various universities. Initially, I aspired to become a teacher and I have aimed to apply for a Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) at the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

To my shock, I was rejected at UJ; however, that didn’t bring me down. I never imagined enrolling to the University of Venda but because I never sought to take a gap year, I then pursued Development studies in 2019. In 2020 I followed my dreams of becoming a student at UJ, the institution had accepted me for a BA in English and Linguistics, which further allowed me to do the teaching.

I was overwhelmed with joy when I realized that dreams do come true, and this was a step closer to fulfilling my dream. I am in my third (3rd) year studies at the University of Johannesburg, and I have returned to PYMA as a volunteer tutor and as a mentor. I would like to command PYMA for the amazing work that they do for the community of Freedom Park, to most people it is less important for learners to be empowered through education but to the most education is still the weapon we can use to change the world.



Youth Spotlight- Ashley Klein

I am an individual who wants to make a difference in the lives of everyone I come across. I am currently pursuing my degree in education with the goal of becoming an elementary school teacher. I have always had a passion for writing, reading, and traveling. I joined the PYMA programme April 2021, and I have been a firm believer in afterschool ever since. I believe that it not only helps students academically, but also enriches their lives because the environment itself is more conducive. PYMA has impacted my community positively by providing a programme that offers struggling students an opportunity to not only improve, but also excel.

There are many benefits to being a volunteer, but my take from the programme has been the ability to embrace the diverse group individuals. The different perspectives on academics and life itself has enriched my life and way of thinking. My favourite highlight throughout my journey with the programme must be the training that was provided. I learned the value of persistence and planning, and I believe that volunteering may be the best way to provide one with a sense of purpose by serving others.

I can never say that I have impacted a great change, but I have always tried to be kind at every turn and taught my students the value of being kind. I am grateful for the opportunity that I was provided and everything that I learned, such as the value of consistency. This brings me to my favourite quote by Jacob Riis “When nothing seems to help, I go look at a stonecutter hammering away at his rock perhaps a hundred times without as much as a crack showing in it. Yet at the hundred and first blow it will split in two, and I know it was not that blow that did it, but all that had gone before.” It teaches as the value on constancy and perseverance.


Bursary Recipient, Second year CJC Student, PYMA Tutor
Bursary Recipient, Second year CJC Student, PYMA Tutor

Tutors Interview- Lerato Mofokeng

1.When did you join PYMA?

My name is Lerato Mofokeng, I joined PYMA in 2021 through the Gold Youth Programme. Initially, I joined the programme hoping to become a tutor because of my passion for working with children; little did I know that PYMA would empower me to an unprecedented level.

2. What are you currently pursuing?

Through PYMA, I was granted the opportunity to further my studies by offering me the CCBSA bursary scheme to me. I was puzzled by this kind gesture of the organisation; I was even happier when I learnt that the organisation would assist me in my application processes.

3. What are your plans as soon as you complete your studies

I am currently studying towards human resources management with the Central Johannesburg College (CJC) since 2021, and CCBSA is financing my tuition fees. As soon as I complete my diploma, I hope to be afforded an internship in which I will apply my knowledge practically and thereafter, hopefully secure a stable job while earning a stable income.

4. How has PYMA impacted your life so far

PYMA has empowered me and given me endless opportunities to develop myself and embrace my potential not only through tutoring but also through administrative work. I am forever grateful for the organisation to assist me in realizing my capabilities and further allowing me to go after my dreams.

5. What would you like to say to Coca-Cola Beverages South Africa.

I would like to extend my gratitude to both PYMA and the CCBSA for the opportunity not only granted to me but to all the youth benefiting from PYMA and the surrounding community. I have colossal passion for what I am doing, and I hope more greener pastures will continuously spread out to all volunteers like me.

6. Do you believe in education?

I believe strongly in the afterschool programme, and I believe that such sectors should receive more support from the government entities. Everyone should be invested in the afterschool programme more especially the surrounding communities.