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Africa | South Africa

Kamhlushwa / Humans Living Passions – Community Enrichment from Within

meet the extraordinary Imagine Scholars

   Imagine Scholar is a unique after-school program in South Africa’s Mpumalanga province, reaching out to the most ambitious children in the local schools. Together, students and facilitators create a nourishing environment emphasizing personal growth, the finding and fostering of passions and the upholding of core moral values.

Although Imagine Scholar has a record of outstanding academic achievements (like students attending the Yale-Program, the African Leadership Academy or United World Colleges), the main focus of the community enrichment program is character-building aimed at the empowerment of leaders; one day these leaders will be the vanguard of social and economic enrichment in their community and even today many of the students engage in charitable activities, business contests and science projects. As founder Corey Johnson puts it: “I’m incredibly proud of all the huge successes, but the real goal is to create good people. I’d be more proud if they become good mothers, fathers or coworkers, just good people; because that’s what the world needs.”

Imagine Scholar’s dynamic approach to education takes student-centric methods to the next level: students are involved in all crucial decision-making processes from schedules to subjects and the selection of new aspirants. The vision is to have (former) Imagine Scholars run the entire program by themselves within the next years. Think tanks, TED-talks, creative and critical thinking exercises, communal reading sessions, communication classes, academics, chess and meditation are some dimensions of the holistic framework. Volunteers help with the day to day schedule and function as mentors.

If you would like to make a donation to support this inspiring project or volunteer on the ground, stop by here: http://imaginescholar.org/

I was humbled to live and work with these extraordinary humans, who take pride in being a bit "weird," but let me not keep you any longer from getting to know them yourself! Maybe you can't meet everybody in one day, so come back here, whenever you feel like it!

I fell in love with astronomy and decided to be an astrophysicist. It’s not only about the job, it’s the passion I have and I’m willing to help others and spread the science behind and the beauty of it.

Glen   To be honest, when I started here, I wasn’t focused that much on my passion, but on my academics. I was introduced to online learning and found many passions, such as astronomy and chess. Also I’m now more willing to help others instead of just looking at my own self and academics. Before Imagine Scholar, my dream was being a doctor, but I fell in love with astronomy and decided to be an astrophysicist. It’s not only about the job, it’s the passion I have and I’m willing to help others and spread the science behind and the beauty of it. I was part of the space balloon project, which involves science of the air and sending a balloon to space. It has a computer, which is programmed by us to take pictures as it goes up. I think our team work was very good. We worked a lot on research before launch day, and when the day came, we applied our theory practically. I also learned to never give up. Even though we didn’t find our balloon, I still have the spirit to try next year; because I know, where there is a will, there is a way. I think Imagine Scholar played a huge role in me becoming the top student at my school, because I’m not just an individual, but I learned from other people and I was motivated to believe in myself. Therefore I had the dedication and was able to put in the hard work.