Society is ever-changing and Monash South Africa has positioned itself to meet these changes through educating and training graduates to work in fields where they will be valued for their specialised knowledge and for their ability to lead, communicate and solve problems. Monash South Africa student, Francisca Nkhabu, is a prime example of a strong, young leader as she has been selected to represent Monash South Africa at the World Business Forum in New York City this October.

The 22 year-old was first accepted into Monash South Africa’s Foundation Programme, a one-year course designed to help students attain the necessary requirements to enter into an undegraduate degree. Now an honours student in Geography and Environmental Science, Francisca has since been involved in a number of community initiatives; including the flagship Monash South Africa Saturday School programme, a weekly tutoring project that focuses on literacy and numeracy skills, by pairing up one student volunteer with one primary school learner. The initiative has been highly successful in improving the educational outcomes for the learners. Inspired by this, Francisca developed a mentorship programme called Tomorrow Starts Today that focuses on nurturing and improving the soft skills in grade 9 learners from the local communities.

“Monash South Africa strives to increase employability for each and every student. In addition to their academic journey, students are mentored and developed through volunteerism with the goal of building their leadership skills,”, said head of Community engagement, Craig Rowe.

Francisca´s passion to mentor young people fuels her dream to one day be a community developer who influences improvement in living standards. “What motivates me to volunteer is that someone took the time to access the potential in me. It is of extreme importance to me that I pay it forward by paving the way for other young people who have the potential to be strong leaders in their communities. Teaching and learning from each other is the basis of community engagement,” said Francisca.

In 2013, Monash South Africa joined the Laureate International Universities network, which has a presence in 29 countries globally. It is through this network that students are given the opportunity to participate in the international arena as global citizens. As one of Laureate’s 900 000 students, Francisca has been given the opportunity to represent Monash South Africa at the World Business Forum in New York from the 7th – 8th of October 2014.

Over the past ten years, the World Business Forum has inspired and transformed leaders from around the world, giving them the opportunity to grow and learn about the latest trends in business. A diverse group of world-class speakers will be addressing more than 4000 senior executives who will be in attendance.