South African Teen Motivational Speaker Aims For The Ivy League!
Photo Cred: Prateek Katyal | Pexels

This 16-year-old South African is helping other teens (and adults) find their confidence with her motivational talks… and upcoming book!


Johannesburg, South Africa (17 August 2022) – Sixteen-year-old Boksburg student, Isabella Silva, has delivered a series of motivational talks at primary and high schools across Johannesburg, with the theme ‘Confidence Matters’.

Her aim is to promote positivity and teen empowerment through the creation of safe spaces where teens can discuss the various issues that affect them. Isabella, who is studying an international A-level curriculum at an advanced pace with online high school Crimson Global Academy, will also be publishing her first book on the subject later this year.

Isabella’s interest in helping others started with the creation of her Instagram account, Teen Matters, where she shares advice and support for fellow teens. The account currently has more than 20,000 followers. The idea of delivering talks to young students was first presented to Isabella by her drama teacher and public speaking coach of over ten years, owner of Lavender Drama Studio, Liani de Jager.

“After being invited to consider speaking to drama school students, I reflected on the fact that they always tell you drama helps you gain confidence – which isn’t true. Drama helps you perfect your public speaking skills. I know exceptional drama students who can’t speak in front of a crowd. I went back to my drama teacher and said that I want to teach confidence. I want to give students a tool, not only in their public speaking skills, but in their lives as individuals,” says Isabella.

The initial plan was to create a course for drama students, but Isabella shifted her attention to under-resourced communities, where she could make an even bigger impact.

“The people who really need help with building confidence in order to achieve their goals, are often those who don’t have easy access to drama school or coaching,” says Isabella.

Isabella’s long-term goal is to study business, with the potential to major in sociology, at an Ivy League university overseas.

South African Teen Motivational Speaker Aims For The Ivy League!
Photo Cred: Isabella Silva | Supplied

To stand the best chance of admission, she enrolled with global mentorship company Crimson Education, after attending a webinar on admissions to top universities that highlighted the competitive nature of international applications.

“After attending the webinar, I knew what was needed to achieve my dream. I had to get out there and make things happen,” says Isabella, who will be working with her Crimson mentors on all areas of her application, including choosing the best universities and majors, standardised testing, extracurricular mentoring, and application support.

“Top-ranked and Ivy league universities are looking for students whose activities demonstrate leadership, innovation, and a passion for change in their communities. Isabella’s motivational talks and book release are great examples of practical ways to display her leadership and engagement. It also shows her to be someone who would be an asset to a university community,” says Rebecca Pretorius, Country Manager at Crimson Education.

In addition to her impressive extracurricular activity, Isabella plans to study the national United States curriculum’s AP subjects, including physics, psychology, statistics, government and politics, and microeconomics.

“Studying at an online high school like CGA means I have access to subjects and curricula that aren’t available locally. Plus, I can learn at my own pace and have more time to do things I would never have been able to at a normal school – like give motivational talks to other teens,” says Isabella.

Sources: Isabella Silva
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Brent Lindeque is the founder and editor in charge at Good Things Guy.

Recognised as one of the Mail and Guardian’s Top 200 Young South African’s as well as a Primedia LeadSA Hero, Brent is a change maker, thought leader, radio host, foodie, vlogger, writer and all round good guy.

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