Christopher Fan is a recent university graduate from Michigan State University. Christopher has a Bachelor’s of Arts (B.A.) degree in Comparative Cultures & Politics with a Specialization in Asian Studies and a Minor in Chinese. Christopher’s interests include identity studies, youth development, social justice, gender studies, and sexual politics. By being a part of IkamvaYouth Makhaza, Christopher hopes to challenge and support learners and tutors to believe in the power of the individual and of a community. Christopher believes that individuals have the ability to make a profound change in themselves as well as their communities at large. An individual, much like a singular community, must have the confidence that it is he/she who is the master of his/her life. He believes that everyone, especially youth, needs to have a personal drive and a person confidence to go get what their heart desires, whether it’s education, employment, equality, civil rights, etc. Christopher wishes to either pursue a dual master’s programme in Social Work, Criminal Justice, and/or Public Health or enlist in the United States Military. His end goal is to work with the government to better assess social welfare, social justice, and initiatives focused on youth. Christopher has grown and benefited from IkamvaYouth just as much as the learners and tutors have from him. We write our own destinies.
“Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself” – Harvey Fierstein
Ginia O’Neil is a recent college graduate from Michigan State University. Ginia has a Bachelor of Arts in Family Child Ecology and intends to attend graduate school top pursue a Masters degree in Social Work. She traveled from The United States to work at IkamvaYouthYouth because she has always had an interest in working with youth and guiding them to a bright and happy future. Ginia has thoroughly enjoyed working at IkamvaYouthYouth and looks forward to spending the rest of the winter there.
“You only live once, but if you do it right… once is enough.”
Miriam Rodriguez is going into her senior year at Santa Clara University studying Mechanical Engineering and Spanish. Miriam is originally from Philadelphia. She plays Field Hockey, and loves acting and dancing. Miriam also love to travel and learn about the communities and people that live in each of the different places she has traveled. She decided to come to South Africa because she wanted to experience Cape Town a town she has only heard good things about. Miriam wanted to come and help at IkamvaYouth Youth because she loves to teach and be around kids. She loves math and science and is always excited to share her knowledge and love for the subjects to those wanting to learn. Miriam hopes to one day live in South America owning her own business of some kind.
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined.” – Thoreau
Sarah Brunner just finished her third year at the University of Portland studying Sociology and Social Justice and will be completing her final year this year. She is originally from Los Angeles but hopes to continue travelling all over the world after completing university. In Grade 5 she travelled to Southeast Asia for her uncle’s wedding and has had a great desire explore other cultures ever since then. She discovered a profound interest in human rights while at university and decided to find a way to put into action by combining it with her other passion, travelling. Through extensive research, she found a program that would satisfy this goal, which set her up with Ikamva Youth. Working for Ikamva has been a very fulfilling experience for her, learning not only about the incredible culture but also what she wants to do in her future. She sees how imperative education is for this great country’s future and hopes to continue to help it achieve its one goal.
“The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself” –Rita Mae Brown
Hobie King is a senior Math and Physics Major at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. He is originally from Birmingham, AL. He plays rugby for his University, is an active member of Beta Theta Pi Fraternity, and plays the saxophone for the University jazz ensemble. He enjoys outdoor activities such as fly fishing, camping, kayaking, and climbing. Hobie became interested in South Africa after reading The Power of One by Bryce Courtenay several years ago. After communicating with IkamvaYouth for several months, he decided to spend the summer in South Africa to help with the program and to experience South African culture. He strongly believes that individual choices and decisions are greatly significant and we must each take responsibility for the type of person we become. After graduation, Hobie plans to spend time abroad doing service before going to graduate school in mathematics.
“The Great Architect of the Universe never created a substitute for results”—Hobart Amory McWhorter