Giving it All, Giving Back and Never Giving Up


Meet Keren. Keren is a Spirit Foundation Alumnus who matriculated at Immaculata R.C. Secondary School in 2014. She is currently in her second year of studies at UCT, studying a Bacherlor of Commerce Degree in Accounting. In spite of her demanding schedule, Keren has volunteered her time as a Personal Capacity Leader (PCL) and mentor to Spirit Foundation Scholars through the Spirit Foundation Alumni Mentorship Programme. We chatted to Keren about some of her reflections from her time as a Spirit Foundation Scholar and what encouragement she has for those still in high school.

What were your matric subjects and were there any that you found particularly challenging?

My matric subjects were English, Mathematics, Afrikaans, Life Sciences, Life Orientation, Accounting and Physical Sciences. Physical sciences is not an easy subject and I did not have a solid foundation in the subject, but extra classes and hard work helped to achieve a mark on my matric certificate that I was proud of.

What were some of your most memorable moments as a Spirit Foundation Scholar?

My very first Spirit Foundation camp… I had such a great time at this camp and met some awesome people that I’m still in touch with today. Also our Matric Valedictory.. this was the day I felt all the love from the Foundation. The Spirit Foundation Scholar Facilitators attended our valedictory and the proud looks on their faces said it all!

What have you been up to since school?

I am studying a BCom Financial Accounting degree at UCT. This degree is the first step I need to take to become a Chartered Accountant. I received a bursary from the HCI Foundation ( What I enjoy the most about my course is that it challenges me and motivates me to work hard. The challenge is that the amount of work given can be overwhelming and one needs to work consistently by revising every day.

What encouragement do you have for the current Spirit Foundation Scholars and other high school learners?

Don’t give up, study hard to get the required marks for varsity and prepare yourself for a lifetime of learning and hard work. Always ask questions and never be afraid to ask for help – there’s no such thing as a stupid question. I’ve been there before and I know its hard. All I can say is that stay strong and do what you have to do to pass i.e. study, ask questions and ask for help. It will all be worth it at the end!

How did you find the transition from high school to varsity?

I had some adjustment issues in my first year and I overcame them thanks to my best friend and my mentor who listened to me vent about everything. The fact that I am not in residence is a challenge for me and I often get tired of travelling to campus and all the way back home. I overcome this by reminding myself of why I made a decision to study further.

What makes you a role model to young people around you?

I like to motivate and inspire the youngsters in my community to set goals and achieve them. I make myself available to them should they need anything.

Do you have a message for your fellow Spirit Foundation Alumni?

I would like to thank each one of the Spirit Foundation Alumni for inspiring me with the passion they have to give back to the Foundation. I am excited to be a Personal Capacity Leader (PCL) as this will help me give back to the Spirit Foundation and motivate some of the scholars.

The Spirit Foundation is so proud of Keren and her incredible commitment to hard work, perseverance and making a difference in the lives of those around her. The future is bright for this shining star!