This is one in a series of profiles showcasing some of Harvard’s stellar graduates. Read our full Commencement coverage.Veronica Gloria ’15 first arrived at Harvard “like a spy.”“I was very quiet and would pay attention to everything. I’d listen to how people talked and formed their ideas and watched how they networked,” she said. “I wasn’t yet doing any of that. I was just watching.”Growing up the daughter of Mexican immigrants in Joliet, Ill., Gloria always felt visible because of her ethnicity, and invisible for the same reason. “Joliet is a diverse suburb, but it’s also pretty segregated,” she said. “Growing up there, the demographics were changing very quickly, and [are] still changing to this day. I remember going to school with several classmates and teachers who would say uninformed things about immigrants and people of color because they didn’t understand what that change meant.”At Harvard, Gloria felt especially singular: She’s one of a small cadre of first-generation college students.Encouraged by her brother to apply to the University, Gloria said she had internalized some high school teachers’ words: that she wouldn’t go far. But her brother insisted, telling her that he wanted to see her name and Harvard’s on the same piece of paper, whether it was an acceptance or a rejection.A self-described “nerd,” Gloria said that even at a young age she knew she wanted to be a bridge between minority and immigrant communities and the rest of society. “I thought, how can we understand each other, and how can we move together toward justice?”Gloria hit the ground running at Harvard, where she said she learned the terminology to better talk about immigrant and minority issues. She joined the student groups Fuerza Latina and Act on a Dream, mentored local immigrant students through the College Access Program, and served on the executive board of the new First Generation Student Union. While Harvard offered lots of resources for students, Gloria noticed “a lot of first-gen and Latino students still were feeling marginalized and were falling through the cracks of an institution that is in the process of learning how to support a diverse student body.”So she helped set up meetings between administrators and students who would relay their struggles. The concern, she said, was, “Even though we’ve made it to a place with a lot of resources, how do we navigate these resources, and how are they still not meeting our needs?”She found herself the chosen advocate among her peers, who’d arrive at her doorstep to discuss their experiences. This spurred Gloria to take a deeper look. She set up a focus group and shared her findings with Harvard University Health Services on the mental health of Latino students. Gloria was inspired to “bring together an intergenerational task force, [Advocating] for Latinx Studies at Harvard,” she said. “This task force has brought a lot of energy and conversations that look very promising for making change soon.”After graduation, Gloria will head to Puebla, Mexico, to work with local communities as part of the University of Southern California’s Latino Mental Health Research Training Program.“At times I’ve felt isolated, but I just had to go with my gut and keep pushing and pursuing the things that I knew mattered,” she said. “And I learned how sharing our stories and raising our voices can be empowering.“I hope that through my work and other students’ initiatives we can make resources more accessible and more supportive, because a lot of us have talent, ideas, and good things to offer. If given the possibility and support, we can really run with it.”
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York To stand in the same room where Thomas Jefferson and James Madison and the Marquis de Lafayette once gathered is rare indeed, but to find such a place on Long Island—preserved in almost its original condition since the days of the Revolution—is unheard of. But such is the case for the estate of William Floyd, one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence, who made his home in Mastic.“You don’t have to go to Virginia or Massachusetts to learn the history of our Founding Fathers—they were discussing the future of the country right here!” exclaims MaryLaura Lamont, a Park Ranger with the National Parks Service, who knows the William Floyd Estate inside and out.New York had four signers of the Declaration, all living in the New York City area when the American Revolution broke out. But only Floyd’s property survived the war intact. The three other men weren’t so fortunate.Lewis Morris resided in what was then Westchester County but would later become known as the Bronx. His manor was called Morrisania. After Washington lost the Battle of Long Island on Aug. 27, 1776, Morris and his family had to flee before the victorious British sacked his estate and destroyed his farm. Nothing remains of his former holdings today.Philip Livingston, a wealthy merchant born in Albany, owned a townhouse on Duke Street in Manhattan and acquired a 40-acre estate in Brooklyn Heights by parlaying his profits from the French and Indian War (1754-1763). Gen. George Washington met there with his officers after suffering the worst defeat of the Revolutionary War and decided to evacuate all his troops from Brooklyn before the British could capture them. Subsequently, the British used Livingston’s Duke Street home as a military barracks and turned his Brooklyn Heights residence into a Royal Navy hospital. It burned down in 1811.Of New York’s signers, Francis Lewis seems to have suffered the most. William Floyd (L) and Francis Lewis were Long Island’s two signers of the Declaration of Independence. (WikiMedia Commons)Born in Wales in 1713, Lewis made his fortune in America as a merchant whose travels took him far and wide, from Russia to Africa. In 1756, he was at Fort Oswego, in upstate New York, where he was selling clothing goods to the British during the French and Indian War, when he was captured by the French commander, Gen. Montcalm. One story goes that he survived because his fluency in Welsh enabled him to understand what the Indians were saying so he could serve as a translator. Regardless, he was still shipped off to France in irons.When the war was settled, Lewis returned to America with a gift of 4,400 acres from the British royal government in compensation for his years in French captivity. He quickly rebuilt his business and was in good enough financial shape to become a warden of St. George’s Church in Flushing from 1769 to 1772, which today has a plaque in his honor. By some historians’ reckoning, Lewis was one of the richest men who signed the Declaration. By the time the Revolution ended, he had lost most of his fortune but he had left his mark on history.After the British had taken over Long Island, they went looking for him. As a local Queens historian, J. Carpenter Smith, wrote about Lewis in 1897: “A man of such influence and of such restless and daring activity could not be otherwise than obnoxious to the government. He was marked as a dangerous rebel.”A group of royal dragoons rode up to his 200-acre Whitestone estate while a British warship pulled within range on the East River. Lewis was not home but his wife, Elizabeth Annesley, unfortunately was. As her servants were urging her to leave the premises, a cannon ball suddenly burst through the window and bounced at her feet, the story goes, but she wouldn’t budge, insisting that the artillery men couldn’t hit the same place twice. She was right about that but it did her no good.A young British soldier tore the shiny buckles from her shoes. “All that glitters is not gold,” she reportedly told him, adding that the buckles were really just pinchbeck, a cheap copper alloy. Then the British ransacked the house, putting all Lewis’ books, papers and paintings in a pile and setting them on fire. Next they destroyed the house too and took Lewis’ wife, holding her in squalor on a prison ship without a bed or a change of clothing with the hope that her husband would come to her rescue so they could hang him.The imprisonment took a toll on her health. When news of her ill treatment reached Gen. Washington in Pennsylvania, he ordered the arrest of the wife of the British paymaster-general and the wife of the British adjutant general, according to some historians, and threatened to subject them to the same abuse. The British agreed to a prisoner swap, so Elizabeth reunited with her husband in Philadelphia, but she was badly weakened. She managed to live long enough to see her son Morgan married but died in 1779 with her husband by her side. Lewis lived until 1802, and was buried in an unmarked grave on the north side of the churchyard of Trinity Church, where he had been a vestryman from 1784 to 1786. In 1947 the Descendants of the Signers of the Declaration of Independence erected a granite marker and a bronze plaque there in his honor. Little known today was Lewis’ key role in thwarting what was known as the Conway Cabal. This was a plot by disgruntled American officers and members of the Continental Congress to replace Gen. Washington with Gen. Horatio Gates, the so-called “hero of Saratoga,” because he had defeated the British there. Lewis defended Washington’s command, ensuring that New York’s delegation stood firm, and the scheme died. And so the future of the country was ensured.Today this signer of the Declaration has a high school in Queens named after him as well as a Masonic lodge. But the nicest spot is clearly Francis Lewis Park, which occupies the northern tip of Queens within the shadow of the Whitestone Bridge. Most historians reportedly believe Lewis’ home was once located on or near there because of the site’s proximity to the East River, although some have made the claim that his house was many blocks away. The place has a spectacular view of the river with a breeze blowing off the water even on a hot summer day, plus two bocce ball courts, an inviting playground complete with fountains for kids to play in, a fitness trail (eight loops to a mile), and a kayak and canoe launching area on the sandy beach at the bottom of a sloping grassy field.All that remains to remind visitors about who the park’s namesake was is a plaque on a cracked granite pedestal erected in his honor by the Matinecock chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution and “other Patriotic Citizens.” A tall white flagpole juts from it. Francis Lewis Boulevard, named for him in the 1930s, doesn’t reach the park, even though it’s more than 10 miles long. It starts in Rosedale and stops at the Cross Island Parkway. Some locals call the boulevard “Franny Lou.”Mastic’s William Floyd Estate is furnished with original 18th Century pieces and is open to the public. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)The Hero and the HeartbreakerLewis’ Suffolk County compatriot, Gen. William Floyd, was definitely the youngest and arguably the luckiest of New York’s signers. The British occupied his estate in 1776, ransacked his farm, took all his livestock and food stores, but they never torched the place. Thanks to the foresight of his heirs and the supervision of the National Park Service, the estate endures today as an historical gem. Visitors—who are regrettably few and far between—can stroll the grounds as Floyd’s family did and gaze upon the furnishings that were his—including his cradle and his desk, his “traveling medicine chest” (which held his liquor) and his Chippendale sofa.An aura seems to pervade the site, giving credence to what one summer guest later described as “Magic…Mystic…Mastic.” Perhaps it’s the underlying continuity of the estate that makes it so special—and so alive. The Old Mastic House, as the Floyds called their home, changed over time as eight generations came and went, but the place never lost touch with the past. It was left fully furnished when it was formally taken over by the Park Service in 1976. One room may date to 1720, the one next to it might have been added in 1788, the formal dining room in the late 1890s, a kitchen in the 1920s, a dishwasher in the pantry in the 1960s. Over 250 years, what began as a six-room colonial house on a slave plantation grew into a 25-room summer home. A guided tour generally lasts an hour. As Park Ranger MaryLaura Lamont explains, the William Floyd Estate is a “cultural preservation,” not an historical renovation, which makes its status rather unique in the National Park Service. The Floyds’ heirs have the right to be buried in their family cemetery in the woods, if they so choose.“What you see here in this house is a combination of all the time periods,” says Lamont, who’s been working at this National Park Service site since 1979. On July 4 and August 2, she’ll host a special program at 10:30 a.m. on William Floyd called “He Dared to Sign.” Other programs feature the site’s nature trails, the estate’s architectural history, a collection of old-fashioned toys plus the craftsmanship of carving hunting decoys. Recently, Lamont put on display the family’s extensive artwork, particularly the talented work of Katherine Floyd depicting the estate in the mid-19th century, which has never been shown in public before.“I guess you could call it a continuum of change,” says Lamont. “It’s the history of America as you see it through the eyes of the Floyd family, so it’s a microcosm of American history.”And to think that it all could have been irrevocably destroyed if the Federal Energy Commission had gone through with its initial decision to locate a nuclear power plant on the southern end of the property by Moriches Bay. Cornelia Floyd Nichols, Gen. Floyd’s great, great granddaughter, heard about the project from her son-in-law David Weld, who was active in Suffolk County Republican circles. They had to act quickly, so they were able to get the 613 acres of forests, fields and marsh along with the original estate and all the outbuildings added to the new Fire Island National Seashore, which the National Park Service was establishing in 1965, rather than wait for Congressional approval to create a separate entity for the Mastic manor.The estate’s entrance is only a little more than two miles from the William Floyd Parkway, off Neighborhood Road (aka Havenwood Drive), but it might as well be a million miles away because it seems so remotely removed from our time and place.“They loved it here,” says Lamont. “And that’s why they wanted it preserved.” Before the Revolution started, William Floyd had been a trustee of the town of Brookhaven and a colonel in the Suffolk militia. A prominent citizen, Floyd was chosen to represent New York in the First Continental Congress of 1774, and the second one a year later. Through his sisters’ husbands, Gen. Nathaniel Woodhull and Ezra L’Hommedieu, Floyd had ties to both the Culper Spy Ring and the largest slave plantation north of the Mason Dixon line, the Sylvester Manor on Shelter Island. According to historian Alexander Rose, whose book about the spy ring was the basis for the AMC series, Turn, Abraham Woodhull became a spy for Washington to avenge the mistreatment of his kinsman, Gen. Woodhull, who had died of gangrene while being held on a prison ship in the East River following his capture in the Battle of Long Island. Ezra L’Hommedieu was the great-grandson of Nathaniel Sylvester, the estate’s first owners.William Floyd could also be blamed for causing James Madison heartache. It was his 15-year-old daughter Kitty who captured Madison’s eye. He was 30 at the time but they got engaged. When she turned 16, Kitty wrote the future fourth president of the United States a letter breaking off their courtship because she was marrying another guy. Madison literally blotted out every reference to her in his diary. It took him 10 years before he found Dolly, who became his first lady. And the rest is history.Long Island revolutionary Francis Lewis is commemorated by a park in his name in Whitestone, Queens. (Spencer Rumsey/Long Island Press)Happy Birthday, AmericaAs generations of Americans first learned in school, Thomas Jefferson deserves the credit for drafting the Declaration, the first document to define the country that we would become. Not known for his public oratory—John Adams once remarked that “during the whole time I sat with him in Congress, I never heard him utter three sentences together”—Jefferson had already earned a reputation for wielding a “masterly pen,” and writing, as Adams put it, with a “peculiar felicity of expression.” The results of his penmanship—helped along with some useful edits and some key deletions, such as the end of slavery, and no mention of women’s suffrage—has stood the test of time, and inspired millions ever since. Officially the Declaration is celebrated on July 4th, but contrary to tradition, no one actually signed it until weeks afterwards. Indeed, New York’s foursome didn’t begin to add their signatures until August 2.Those who signed their names knew they were committing high treason, punishable by death. And it’s that willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice for a cause they believed in—with slim hope that they would ever prevail against the mightiest empire in the world at that time—that continues to inspire their descendants today.“Francis Lewis wasn’t a military man—he was just a businessman,” explains Christian Ford, an attorney in Virginia who recently learned that he’s a descendant of Lewis. “So what made him decide that ‘I’m going to sign, I’m going to essentially commit treason and band together with these other men and form a republic—and I’m going to risk my life, my family and my wealth to do that?’ What made Francis Lewis make that commitment over other men similarly situated who decided they were going to take a safer route?”That curiosity resonates with another descendant of Francis Lewis, Kathy Coley, who lives in Port Washington and works in the communications department of Farmingdale State College. “It makes me proud that a family member had that level of conviction,” she tells the Press.And remembering their sacrifice makes every Fourth of July a little more special.For more information on the William Floyd Estate, which is administered by Fire Island National Seashore, call 631-399-2030; or go to nps.gov/fiis/planyourvisit/williamfloydestate.htm.The Old Mastic House is open for free guided tours every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, plus holidays from Memorial Day to mid-November.For information about Francis Lewis Park, go to nycgovparks.org/parks/Q126. The park, which is run by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department, is on 3rd Avenue between Parsons Boulevard and 147th Street.
Recently, in my native state of Minnesota, a winter storm warning caused people to panic. Many people rushed to their local retailer for common household goods like fuel and food. They needed to store up different essentials in case they got stuck in their homes. It is amazing to see how people prepare when they know there is a storm brewing. Credit unions, similarly, are on the verge of a storm. Regulations and lending clubs are the main threats. Lending clubs are using data to steal members from credit unions while regulations are requiring more detailed (and forward looking) reporting. Lending clubs continue to take market share from credit unions without any physical branches. At the same time, the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) has recently introduced a new regulation for calculating ALLL (Allowance for loan and lease losses), current Expected Credit Loss (CECL), and will require credit unions to account for the expected credit losses over the life of every loan. Credit unions must begin building their data reserves to support future decisions needed to serve their members. In order to comply with regulations and implement predictive analytics to stave off competition, credit unions must build a large data reserve.Analytic Data ModelIn order to prepare for regulations and defeat lending club competition, credit unions must begin storing their data. Deciding how to store data is a crucial strategic decision many credit union leaders are overlooking. Simply storing data in an archive is not enough. Data must be effectively integrated across systems to make sense of it at the organizational level. Executives do not want to know what data is in a loan origination system or a CRM database. They want to know what happened across the business over a period of time. Building an analytic data model (ADM) that syncs the business with its data is essential in preparing the data reserve. continue reading » 8SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
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Defense Minister Prabowo Subianto is set to oversee the development of the national food estate program, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said.Addressing journalists at the State Palace in Jakarta on Monday, the President said he appointed the defense minister to lead the program was because food resilience fell under the domain of national defense.“What we call defense isn’t only about Alutsista [primary weaponry defense system] – it’s also about resilience in the food sector,” Jokowi said on Monday as quoted in a statement. Read also: Virus, climate change cause food shortages in parts of IndonesiaHe said that the development of the program was meant as an anticipatory measure amid concerns over a global food crisis due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, as predicted by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).“We need to quickly anticipate [a possible food crisis] by establishing strategic food reserves,” Jokowi said, adding that Agriculture Minister Syahrul Yasin Limpo would also assist Prabowo in developing the program.Jokowi previously instructed the Public Works and Housing Ministry to expand the government’s food estate program by developing 165,000 hectares of land in Pulang Pisau regency, Central Kalimantan, into farmland.Public Works and Housing Minister Basuki Hadimulyono said last month that a total of 85,500 ha of land in the area already functioned as farmland, so the ministry only needed to clear 79,500 ha of scrubland for the development. The project aims to boost productivity by 2 tons of rice for each ha of land.Topics :
LONDON (Reuters) – England fast bowler Jofra Archer says he has fully recovered from a side strain and is raring to go as he looks poised to make his test debut in the second Ashes test against Australia at Lord’s on Wednesday.Archer, who missed the first test after picking up his injury during England’s World Cup triumph last month, proved his fitness when he took six wickets and scored a century for county side Sussex’s second XI last week.The 24-year-old was included in England’s 12 in the absence of record wicket taker James Anderson, who bowled only four overs in the first test at Edgbaston before injuring his calf again.“I’m probably more ready than I have ever been. I bowled 50 overs in one game for Sussex which I think was past the overs they told me to bowl, it was good practice,” Archer told reporters. “(My fitness) has never been better. (The side strain) just needed to settle and we couldn’t get that gap in the World Cup. After that, it settled in a matter of days.“Don’t expect any miracles, I can only come in and do what I can and give my best. I can’t work miracles but I will try to.”Australia coach Justin Langer had said the key to dealing with Archer, England’s leading wicket-taker at the World Cup with 20 victims, was to “keep wearing him down” and make him bowl more spells.“I think Justin Langer has another think coming,” Barbados-born Archer added. “I’ve played a lot more red-ball cricket than I have white-ball cricket. “I do think it’s my preferred format anyway. I personally believe in test cricket you get a lot more opportunities to redeem yourself.“If it’s 50 overs, when you don’t have a good 10-overs, that’s it. You have ample chances do it in red-ball games. Test cricket is pretty much the same as first-class — know what your strengths are and stick to them.”Australia led the Ashes 1-0 after their 251-run win at Edgbaston.
“We didn’t start the game the way any team would want to,” said Saints new head coach Alex Evin.“We had slow feet in our zone and didn’t compete our hardest to win any puck battles, especially when we had numbers. However, we have to give Trail credit because they played with a lot of intensity, which complemented their speed and skill very well.“Our goaltenders Mike Vlanich and James Prigione kept the game within reach with some huge saves throughout the game and it allowed us to claw back and make a game of it in the second half.”Midway through the second overtime period that included back-and-forth three on three action, the Smokies persistence paid off when Martin tallied his second of the night off a beautiful feed from Zane Shartz. Both teams traded multiple scoring chances that included a penalty shot save by 16-year-old Smokies’ netminder Solomon Burk who came into the game in the third period to make his Junior A debut.Both teams introduced each other during an epic battle Friday night at the Castlegar Community Complex. A crowd of more than 400 was treated to a fast paced game from beginning to end, including big hits and great goals. Selkirk earned a hard fought 7-4 victory increasing their impressive home unbeaten streak to 30 games.Newcomer Ryan Edwards led the way for the Saints with a hat trick while Ryan Henderson, Tylor Branzsen, Darnell Dyck and Thomas Hardy added singles. Scoring for the Smoke Eaters was Zuccarini (2), Ryan Swanson and Keenan Scott. The Saints goaltending duties were shared by Prigione and Steven Glass.“I hope everyone in attendance enjoyed these hockey games,” said Evin.“They were intense and fast. Both had exciting finishes and both teams respect one another. We wish the Smokies a great season and will support them any way we can.”SAINTS NOTES:The Saints lost second year defenseman Ryan Procyshyn to a broken ankle suffered in Saturday’s loss…. The next exhibition games for the Saints include a rematch of the BCIHL Championship final when they host Trinity Western University at the Cominco Arena on Friday, September 19 at 7:00 p.m. … Grant MacEwan University from the Alberta College Athletic Conference then visits the Saints September 27 at 7:00 p.m. and September 28 at 11:00 a.m. at Castlegar Community Complex… Selkirk will start the BCIHL season on the road the first two weekends in October after which they will commemorate their second straight BCIHL Championship with a banner raising ceremony at the October 17 home opener. The Selkirk Saints Men’s Hockey Team opened the exhibition season with a pair of hard fought and exciting games against the Trail Smoke Eaters in a showcase that provided a taste of what’s to come for the 2014-15 campaign.The inter-league set matched the two-time defending British Columbia Intercollegiate Hockey League (BCIHL) champions against the region’s only British Columbia Hockey League (BCHL) squad. The outcome was two intense games that tested the early season talents on both clubs.Saturday night was a fitting finish to a great weekend of hockey as the Smokies triumphed over the Saints with a 5-4 double overtime victory at the Cominco Arena. A quick pace and end-to-end action in the third and overtime periods made up for the mediocre first and second frames.The Smoke Eaters came out with a vengeance and controlled play in the earlygoing earning 1-0 and 3-1 leads in each of the first two periods.Craig Zuccarini, Craig Martin and Dallas Calvin potted goals for the home team while Jackson Garrett notched a goal for Selkirk.The Saints came alive in the third, scoring three times on goals from Matt Martin and Mason Spear (2). Brendan Volpe tallied for Trail which knotted the game, sending it to overtime.
Thirty-eight-year-old Rajindra Balkaran, called ‘Gomes’, and his uncle Vishnu Gopaul, called ‘Strokeman’ and ‘Balbala’, a pork vendor at the Port Mourant Market, traded chops on Monday afternoon at Kitten Dam, Portuguese Quarters, Port Mourant Corentyne; and are now both hospitalized at the New Amsterdam Public Hospital, with Gopaul being listed in critical condition.Injured: Vishnu GopaulReports reaching this newspaper detail that Balkaran was under the influence of alcohol when he accused his uncle of being a “cochore”. After hurling several expletives at his uncle, Balkaran walked over to Gopaul’s donkey cart and pushed it into a nearby drain.At that, Gopaul ran out of his yard with a cutlass. “Is the same cutlass he does use fuh cut meat,” one eyewitness said.“The two of dem start to argue, and ‘Gomes’ (Balkaran) telling he that he is a cochore and Gopaul cussing he (Gomes),” an eyewitness offered.The argument intensified, and Gopaul reportedly chopped his nephew several times to the upper body. Balkaran received chop wounds to his hands and neck, but was able to overpower and disarm his uncle, and he turned the weapon on the pork vendor. Gopaul received chops to the face, neck, chest and hands, and is reportedly in a critical condition at the New Amsterdam Hospital.The donkey cart that was pushed into the drainWhen the Police arrived, Gopaul was picked up in an unconscious state and taken to the Port Mourant Hospital, from whence he was transferred to the New Amsterdam facility. Balkaran has also been admitted a patient at the hospital.Police are investigating the incident.
Filipe Luis gets the nod for Chelsea at left-back against Hull, with Cesar Azpilicueta among the Blues substitutes along with youngster Ruben Loftus-Cheek. Ramires also starts. Hull are without the injured Nikica Jelavic and the suspended Tom Huddlestone.Hull: McGregor, Dawson, Bruce, McShane, Elmohamady, Robertson, Meyler, Livermore, Ramírez, Hernández, N’Doye.Subs: Harper, Rosenior, Davies, Quinn, Brady, Sagbo, Aluko. Chelsea: Courtois; Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Filipe Luis; Fabregas, Matic; Ramires, Willian, Hazard; Costa.Subs: Cech, Azpilicueta, Zouma, Loftus-Cheek, Oscar, Cuadrado, Remy.Follow West London Sport on TwitterFind us on Facebook
Leisure outings are part of the life-enriching experience brought by Theoand Angie Krynauw to Quayiya Secondary School. Current junior mayor of the municipalityof Overstrand, young Lungisa Qenduhopes to complete a civil engineeringdegree after school.(Images: Theo de Wet) MEDIA CONTACTS • Theo and Angie Krynauw +27 82 654 4924 • Theo de Wet Enlighten Education Trust +27 28 313 0974RELATED ARTICLES • Creating chances for SA youngsters • Career guidance initiative launched • Primary schools get a helping hand • Denel helps maths, science pupils • SA businesses urged to adopt schoolsEmily van RijswijckRather than settle down to a sedate retirement, a couple from Hermanus in the Western Cape has pitched in to change the lives of pupils at a school in an informal settlement and, in so doing, has helped the school to double its matric pass rate in just one year.Last year, matriculants at Quayiya Secondary School in the informal settlement of Zwelihle, outside Hermanus, notched up a 66% pass rate – an impressive achievement , because just a year before the school had been classified by the Department of Basic Education as dysfunctional, with more than two-thirds of its pupils failing the all-important Grade 12.Zwelihle is an isiXhosa-speaking settlement of some 30 000 inhabitants, most of whom are unemployed.This remarkable success is largely the result of the dedicated investment of time and interest by Theo and Angie Krynauw, and the partnership they have built with Quayiya’s principal, Nkosilungile Lolwana.“It has been the most thrilling and fulfilling year of our lives,” says Theo Krynauw.Their work recently attracted sponsorship from insurance group MiWay, which supports the Krynauws’ outreach programme with a car and petrol and mobile costs.Getting involved in the communityWhen the Krynauws moved down to the coast from Pretoria in February 2011 they felt they had a calling, and had their hearts set on becoming involved in the broader community.The couple was touched by the plight of Quayiya, which had such a negative public image that nobody wanted to become involved with it.“It was as if people had given up on it and couldn’t be bothered any more,” says Krynauw.With a matric pass rate of 32% in 2010, the school had been classified as dysfunctional and seemed to be beyond saving. This was just the challenge the Krynauws were looking for.“We went up to the school and told them ‘we are here, we are available, how can we help’,” Krynauw recalls.At first they would speak to the pupils every Monday during assembly. The couple would arrive at the school with a borrowed public address system and talk to the 1 200 pupils about living a spiritual and motivated life.“Our focus is not on religion but rather on raising the values of the children in general,” says Krynauw. “If a person feels they have value, they start to do valuable things.”Out and aboutThe first few assembly meetings were soon followed by more practical exercises and now, each week a different group of ten pupils is taken on an excursion to expose the youngsters to something totally outside of their limited life experience.“We take them to art galleries, farms, radio stations, nature walks, and even crazy beach parties. Often experts in the field of interest accompany us.”Two pupils are chosen from the weekly group and are brought in to spend one night with the Krynauws at home.“This is where we really move beyond the surface and get to know the children. This is where we learn about their hopes and dreams and aspirations.”Ivy Ngoqi and Lungisa Qendu are two such pupils. Familiar with the hard knocks of life, they now believe they have a future.Life has been very difficult for Ivy since her mother died in December, says Theo Krynauw. But she dreams of becoming a paramedic and, with the couple’s help, is working hard towards that goal.An exceptionally pretty girl, Ivy could also very easily be a Face of Africa model, the Krynauws believe. To help get her modelling career off the ground, which could ultimately help her to achieve her dream of becoming a paramedic, the Krynauws will take her to Cape Town later this year to build a professional modelling portfolio.Lungisa is junior mayor of the Overstrand Municipality, where Hermanus is situated. Krynauw refers to him as a “remarkable boy” with leadership qualities that have helped him develop into one of the best junior mayors the area has ever produced, according to Theo de Wet, manager of the Overstrand junior council.De Wet was instrumental in launching the junior council eight years ago, and says that in its history Lungisa stands out as the best to date – quite an achievement considering that some junior mayors came from far more privileged and well-educated backgrounds.The junior council is racially representative with the 35 members selected from five schools in the area.“Some members, such as Lungisa, live in shacks while others come from rich families who travel overseas once a year,” says De Wet.Junior council members have to undertake at least eight community service delivery projects during their one year term.De Wet is also the founder of the Enlighten Education Trust which works with youngsters between the ages of 15 and 25 in the Overstrand area. A non-profit organisation which focuses on life skills, life enrichment and leadership, De Wet makes it clear that Enlighten is not an upliftment programme.“There are thousands of youth trapped in townships with limited life experience or with experiences only moulded by township life,” he says. “We look at those young people with potential and through our three interventions aim to expose them to other experiences and the bigger world outside.”Lungisa, who excels in maths, hopes to further his studies after matric. If all goes well, and with the help of the Krynauws, he will qualify for a R75 000 (US$9 700) bursary from engineering group Aurecon, to offset the costs of a civil engineering degree.Medical helpThe medical needs of the children are not ignored. The Krynauws have negotiated with general practitioners, dentists, optometrists and audiologists in the area to give their time and professional help in the case of emergencies.The real thrill they receive from their work is seeing the way the children are beginning to believe in themselves and how they start to visualise their own future, full of hope, says Theo Krynauw.“It is so rewarding to find children with such potential and then to somehow or other connect them with a source to meet their practical needs, be it medicine or bursary money for further studies.”He adds: “For as long as they want us to be involved we will be involved in this school.”