Underserved Youth in South Africa Finally Being Served

By Kelsey Duckett

New York Times article:

CAPE TOWN — Gcobani Mndini, a shy, lanky 17-year-old, said he was already a gangster by the time he started ninth grade. His small gang, which called itself the Tomatoes, was robbing people, fighting over girls and getting high on Jack Daniel’s and marijuana.

“I joined the gang because I wanted to belong,” he said.

He has since found that he fits in the last place he might have expected — at a private high school that is reinventing education for teenagers from South Africa’s black townships.

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If given a chance, most will change their lives. This story is a prime example of how education and a second chance at life can lead a person down an entirely different path.

In this case, education took one boy off the drug-ridden streets of his neighborhood in Cape Town and put him into the classroom – where he excelled.

These students, all 500 of them, have been taken out of dire situations. In most cases they are poor, underserved and working-class black children who are living a life of drugs and violence, some even active in gangs are a young age – but now they are immersed in an intense education environment that has been compared to that of the most successful American charter schools.

Now, the children of African, and across the world just need more parents, schools and leaders to fight for their futures.

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