Selected from hundreds of nominations made by readers all over South Africa, 10 incredible nominee stories were selected, paired up with impactful mentors, and featured on Sponsors of Brave: The Next Generation. From these 10, two ultimately walked away with one of two R25 000 scholarships. Their mentors also won with an all-expenses-paid trip to an overseas medical conference of their choice and the opportunity to pay-it-forward by donating R25 000 to a registered NPO charity of their choice.
With so many inspirational featured stories of brave young students and professionals in the healthcare industry, it came down to the readers and judges votes to pick the winners.
The readers choice winner was chosen by the votes of the readers, while the judges choice winner was selected by the panel of judges anonymously.
Watch how the announcement unfolded:
The Readers' Choice
The final 10 featured videos received an impressive amount of over 10,450 votes, but it was 2nd year Pharmacy student at North-West University Tebogo Monogo, who ultimately took home the Readers' Choice Award gaining over 2,300 votes.
Mentored by Dr. Stephan Steyn, a senior lecturer in pharmacology at North-West University, Tebogo is a goal-orientated student with a passion for psychopharmacology, neuroscience, and making an impact.
The Judges' Pick
The judges did not have an easy time choosing a winner, they were looking for a story that truly showed a sense of Ubuntu and caring for fellow South Africans , and one that inspired the readers. The panel of judges selected their winner through an anonymous vote, and the nominee who in the end took home the Judges Choice Award was PhD candidate Veneshley Samuels.
Mentored by Dr. Andani Mulelu, a biochemist and research scientist at the University of Cape Town's Drug Discovery and Development Research Unit, Veneshley is looking to change lives by finding cures for diseases.
Having grown up in Atlantis, Veneshley saw that many families, living in close quarters together, contracted tuberculosis. This experience has driven her to want to specialise in TB research.
Tebogo and Veneshley will each be walking away with R25 000 scholarships to further their studies. Their mentors will also be walking away with an all-expenses-paid trip to an overseas medical conference of their choice and the opportunity to pay-it-forward by donating R25 000 to a registered NPO charity of their choice.
After an unexpected year, our nominees and frontline healthcare workers truly have been the shining stars amid the dark of uncertainty and fear - and Sponsors of Brave judge and ambassador, Derek Watts attests to this.
... Amidst the most unbelievable tragedy of this year, there have been some projects, some initiatives, the joining of hands to provide help for those most in need. And, as an ambassador for Sponsors of Brave, it really has been, and I mean this, one of the highlights of my year.
Thank you to all our readers for your heartfelt nominations and votes, thank you for sharing these stories and celebrating the achievements of our young healthcare professionals. We encourage everyone to keep the spirit of Sponsors of brave alive and continue giving back, serving our communities, and acknowledging those around us who go above and beyond. Please be safe and BE BRAVE!