‘ISPA Inspires’ Bursary Winner Announcement

South Africa’s Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) has awarded its inaugural ‘ISPA Inspires’ bursary to Fabian Brijlal from Phoenix, KwaZulu-Natal and Jordy Kafwe Kioni from Parklands, Western Cape.

A total of 288 applications were received for ISPA’s recently-launched bursary programme which prioritises promising young candidates interested in pursuing a career in the ICT (Information and Communications Technology) sector.

The support from ISPA and its members means that Jordy, a Grade 12 student at Elkanah House in 2020, will be able to embark upon BSc (Computer Science) studies at his chosen tertiary institution while Fabian, a former Earlington Secondary School learner, will be able to complete his current UNISA BSc (Computer Science) degree.

Fabian and Jordy’s selection followed an extensive evaluation of each application from individuals recognised in terms of the country’s National Youth Policy.

Both of them have overcome considerable challenges in their personal lives while still contributing to their community’s upliftment through volunteering. “We believe it is important to encourage South Africa’s youth to enter the ICT sector which represents a major engine for economic growth. Both Fabian and Jordy are incredible assets to their communities and we wish them the very best in their studies,” says Aurora Vani chair of ISPA’s SocDev (Social Development) Working Group.

Fabian believes human potential is only limited by our imagination and this is certainly true for him – the high school he attended didn’t offer IT-related courses and yet, Fabian continued to pursue his dream by enrolling for online courses. After becoming competent in several programming languages, he says he discovered his calling. Fabian has sage advice for the rest of us: “If you want to cement your own legacy, be prepared to lay your own bricks.”

Jordy, for his part, says seeing people solve problems with software motivated him to pursue a career in Computer Science. “I really like a Jack Dorsey quote,” he says. According to Jack: “My goal is to simplify complexity. I just want to build stuff that really simplifies human interaction.” Jordy says many of his peers believe Computer Science is too difficult a field to pursue because they were not introduced to it early on. “A good way to get more youngsters interested in Computer Science would be to introduce it to them earlier in life,” he advises.

The ISPA Inspires Bursary programme represents ISPA’s latest contribution towards boosting South Africa’s pool of ICT talent and is intended to inspire the youth and ultimately direct them towards studies in ICT.

The launch of the ISPA Inspires Bursary programme 2020 follows the 2019 retirement of ISPA’s teacher training programme which saw the association and its partners train well over 3 000 teachers in ICT skills over 19 years, thanks to the support of ISPA members.

Applications for the 2021/2022 bursary programme will open mid 2021 and ISPA anticipates closing the applications by September 2021. This will provide the opportunity for candidates to make the shortlist and for ISPA to finalise the successful candidate before the end of the year.

ISPA is the representative body of SA’s Internet Service Providers (ISPs).

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