In 2016, Dr R Gavhi sent me a link about the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures Program by New York Academy of Sciences. At first, I ignored it because I thought it did not suit me. I thought it was meant for people in big cities, and even not for a South African. I thought great things like these were not meant for Africans.

After a couple of conversations with her, I applied to the program in April 2016. To be honest, I just applied to please her. In December I came across an email from 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures stating I was accepted and paired with a mentor, Tiffany Brazile. Due to the lack of resources in my area, I found it extremely difficult to have access to the program online and struggled to complete coursework. I explained to her the problem, and she patiently worked with me to find solutions.

Her guidance has made me realise that I can reach my goals with a solid plan. Though I access the modules during last time moments, why not say so because I completed only three lessons on the end of August, the modules that were meant to be completed in earlier months. As I really knew that I was a mentee of ‘1000 Girls, 1000 Futures’, I even told my friends about the program. I even showed them the badge I earned and they all loved the text “New York Academy of Science”.

My budding interest in STEM has also led me research women’s journeys in STEM, particularly those who have come from backgrounds similar to mine. I admire people like Dr Kgethi Setati Phakeng, the first black South African woman to obtain a Ph.D in mathematics, Mrs Asnath Mahapa, the first black South African woman to become a pilot. I aspire to achieve a STEM-related level of success.

I am proud to say that I developed a greater love for STEM through the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures program and that my journey is just the beginning.