The South African National Roads Agency (SOC) Limited (SANRAL) has made Luzuko Jack’s dream to study engineering a reality through its scholarship.
Jack, who matriculated from Victoria Park High School last year, is registered at Nelson Mandela University (NMU) in Port Elizabeth.
He joined the university’s Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Pipeline Project in Grade 11. It was at the STEM classes that he learned about the scholarship programme.
Making the family proud
Jack is the first in his family to pursue an engineering degree. “I was looking for funding for high school as it was very expensive for my family,” he said. “I wanted to relieve them of the pressure of paying for school fees as my mother is unemployed and we all depend on my sister, and that’s why I applied. Even though I knew it wasn’t going to be easy.”
In terms of role models, Jack’s big sister has that covered. She ensures that their family of six never goes to bed on an empty stomach.
“I will always be grateful for that,” he said. “She has managed to keep the family together and happy; I admire her for that. I hope to do just the same one day.
“I am also inspired by my late father. I want to be as successful as he was. He was able to provide for our every need. He was an exceptional father and I am studying hard, partly as a tribute to him, for raising us the way he did. I hope to make him proud.”
Tackling studies and making a difference
Jack said: “I am proud of myself. I have a passion for technology and I hope to use mechatronics and technology to benefit South Africa one day.”
His mechatronics course includes 10 modules, some of which covers mathematics, physical science, computer science, engineering drawing and materials science.
“The workload is really a lot,” he said, “but I’d like to think I have good time-management skills because I’m still coping and still have time to learn everything I need to know. University requires a lot more self-discipline than high school. I worked hard on keeping my work ethic [then], so I will definitely use that skill now.”
In his spare time, Jack enjoys reading and playing sport in his local community of Zwide. “I also enjoy cooking and playing video games in my spare time.”
But despite his many outside interests, he is passionate about learning and would like to go as far in his studies as possible.
Jack has some great advice for other young up-and-comers. “I think people should study after high school, even though the pressures of studying further are great. Once you have your degree, you will reap the rewards. And you’ll be able to make the world a better place by contributing your knowledge and applying your passion.”
With his attitude toward studying and hard work, there’s no doubt this student will make his whole family exceedingly proud.