Imagine Scholar alumni, Alucia Masilela, finished top of her class at Tshwane University of Technology! Alucia will graduate in 2017 with a degree in Tourism Management. International Development intern, Nikki, sat down with Alucia to see how Imagine Scholar contributed to her success in university.
Q: How did Imagine Scholar influence you? Do you think your time at the program center influenced your path of study?
Honestly at first I had no desires of pursuing a career in tourism but the moment I started doing it, I felt the love for it and discovered where my passion lay.
Imagine Scholar shaped my preferences in such a way that I was able to think for myself. I was able to decide what I want to do and stick with it. My parents were opposed to the idea of me studying Tourism Management. It was a hard battle to fight, but I was able to convince my parents through my grades that I want to stick to tourism.
Imagine Scholar never judged me or tried to make me choose a different program, they were always there for me.
Q: How do you feel Imagine Scholar impacted you most?
The honest thing is that Imagine Scholar made me who I am today. Corey, my best friend, believed in me and always made sure that I knew that. It is because I am a part of Imagine Scholar, and that Imagine scholar is a part of me that my life has taken this path. When I was going through personal problems, Imagine Scholar did not step back but was more than willing to help. I can now face any challenge without thinking of giving up because it’s “too much.” Now I can make informed decisions on my own, I believe I can do anything because of the positivity that I got from Imagine Scholar.
Q: How do you think the program has developed since your first year there?
The program has developed a great deal since my first year. I wish I could have studied more like the students who are currently doing their four years!
When I look back during my first year, it was hard to see which direction the program was headed in. However, as the years have gone of, the program has really decided on a specific path. It has developed in every aspect possible. Huge progress is being made with tangible proof: students are getting scholarships, going to study overseas, and participating in international academies, programs, and competitions!
Q: What about the future—Do you plan to use your studies to give back to Imagine Scholar one day?
I want to be a part of Imagine Scholar for as long as I live. I want to come back and be fully involved. I want to be a part of giving someone the same opportunities that Imagine Scholar gave to me.
I would love to come back to Imagine Scholar and share the opportunities tourism has to offer with the young leaders there. Traveling has become very popular recently, which has created many new careers in tourism!
Q: What advice can you offer the current young leaders of Imagine Scholar?
Behave! Behaving might seem like a simply thing, but it really opens a lot of opportunities for you. When you are well behaved, you pay attention to detail and you don’t lose focus. Behaving well allows you to decide what is most important and what will work best for you. There are so many things that stand in our way as young leaders and so many bad influences. But if you behave, you can counter that.
Imagine Scholar’s strength arises from the personal ownership our youth take in the program. With the help of social investors, we are able to provide quality education and experiential learning opportunities to influential young leaders like Alucia. We would like to invite you to become a part of our growing family by sponsoring a student today: