Burning the midnight oil and attending weekly supplementary classes offered by the Engen Maths and Science Schools programme paid off handsomely for the Bluff’s Brenton Johnson, who finished matric with seven distinctions.
Brenton, who was schooled at Grosvenor Boys High, has enrolled for a Bachelor of Accounting Science degree at Varsity College, Westville Campus in 2019. His intention is to qualify as a chartered accountant and run his own business.
Having scored 94% for science, 83% for maths and 89% for English, he credits the extra lessons provided by the Engen Maths and Science School (EMSS) he attended for his outstanding results.
“The EMSS programme hosted at Fairvale High provided me with top quality tutoring in key subjects but also helped me to identify my weaknesses and improve on them,” says Brenton.
His advice for the class of 2019 is to focus on schoolwork. “It’s all about hard work, managing your time and your priorities,” says the 18-year-old who believes that nothing in life worth achieving comes without a few obstacles and hard work.
He is however adamant that he could never have achieved such excellence without the commitment of the Engen programme teachers, who gave him the support he so desperately needed and helped him stay in control when the pressure mounted.
With Warren Buffet as his role model, Brenton also offers the following sound advice to those yet to complete their schooling: “Standards are increasing and that can seem daunting, however it’s important to focus on your goals rather than on the challenges. It is also vital that you maintain a balanced schedule.”
Brenton also credits his family for creating an environment for him to shine. “I was never hounded to achieve only motivated and encouraged to do my best. My family helped me to relax and find an important balance between school and life throughout last year.”
A total of 532 matrics from across South Africa benefited from Engen-backed extra classes in English, maths and science last year, achieving an impressive 93% pass rate overall, against the national rate of 78.2%. Two of the four EMSS centres in KwaZulu-Natal, Fairvale and Ganges, boasted 100% pass rates.
The top three positions nationally in the 2018 EMSS class all hailed from KwaZulu-Natal, with Velabahleke High School’s Thabiso Ndlovu topping the class both nationally and provincially, followed by Msomi Zizile of Zwelibanzi High, and Brenton who took third place.
There are nine EMSS centres in South Africa offering weekly supplementary classes to learners from grade 10-12, including one each in Cape Town and Gauteng, three in the Eastern Cape and four in KwaZulu-Natal.
Adhila Hamdulay, Engen’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, says the company is delighted to see Brenton get the chance to pursue his bid to become an accountant. “Brenton is a prime example of future leaders that the EMSS programme aims to assist, with a view to not only see them achieve personal success, but also to tackle the bigger issue of helping address key national skills shortages in the engineering, medical and other technical fields.”
She adds: “At Engen, we strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential, and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in Brenton’s impressive achievements.”
Equipping people with potential and drive to succeed in their careers sums up Engen’s approach to human resource management and education-focused corporate social investment programmes, comments Engen’s head of transformation and stakeholder engagement, Unathi Njokweni-Magida.
“We identify, support, reward, recruit, train and develop high-potential candidates for fulfilling careers in skills-challenged fields, in support of SA’s transformational agenda and Engen’s own business. We strongly believe that we have a responsibility to help young people realise their full potential, and we feel enormously privileged to have played a role in their impressive achievements.”
“We are so incredibly proud of these learners, who epitomise the quality of the young people we work with around the country every year. Our ultimate reward is to help set them up to pursue stimulating careers that won’t only benefit them personally, but also the economy as a whole,” adds Njokweni-Magida.
Engen congratulates Brenton and the EMSS class of 2018 and offers a well-deserved round of applause to all the learners and teachers.