A loan of $500 helped to purchase a laptop for her studies.

Chantal's story

Chantal is a 19-year-old full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.

Chantal was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for her passion for public service, her commitment to Africa, and her demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.

Chantal is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable her to purchase to conduct assignments and research, to run her community service project and/or student run business which forms part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.

Chantal is an orphan and comes from Rubavu, Rwanda.

Despite the hardships she has endured having no parents and coming from difficult living conditions, Chantal strives to achieve the best in everything that she does and is dedicated to creating a better future for herself and children in similar situations. Passionate about helping other orphans, Chantal wants to work as hard as she can so that she will be in a position to help as many orphans as possible and “make them not worry about their loss.”

Chantal is an extremely motivated and persistent young woman and has demonstrated a steel resolve when it comes to achieving her goals. When her father passed away last year, Chantal struggled to find financial support for her school fees. Determined not to let her difficult circumstances prevent her from receiving a good education, through persistence and hard work in school, Chantal was able to procure sponsorship from a foundation.

Chantal is also a strong student and showed great resilience after switching from a Francophone to Anglophone systems of education. Despite the challenges she faced, she was still able to perform well, receiving multiple academic awards and retaining a position as one of the top students at her secondary school. She also earned the highest scores in both primary and secondary national exams.

Chantal’s determination and positive influence on others were recognized when she was selected as the head of all students in her sector. She explains that she used this position to motivate her peers to become sharp and bright by participating in discussions and gain more knowledge. She was also class captain of Kiswahili club and president of the student’s association.

In the next 20 years, Chantal hopes to become a doctor specializing in women’s diseases. She also hopes to be a leader and role model to women by “giving them advice, encouraging them to dream high, and not be discouraged by what they have faced."

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