Putting careers on the map

Hope School in Westcliff hosted its sixth Hope-Mandeville Disabilities Career Expo in April. Exhibitors were given the opportunity to present high- school students with disabilities with various possible job opportunities, learnerships and possible further opportunities. All the proceeds made during the two-day event are donated to Mandeville Disability Swimming.

The club is the official partner in the event, but also trains swimmers with disabilities up to Paralympian level. For this sixth instalment of the event, there were a variety of exhibitors including the University of Johannesburg, South African National Parks, the South African Police Service and eDEAF.

Students also attended a session on preparing for university, presented by the University of Witwatersrand and the University of Pretoria, a discussion on entrepreneurship, and a “fun session” with Zongi Mgcina, a representative from the SABC.

At the launch of the event on April 19, Nicholas Serra, an assistant teacher at Saint Stithians College, addressed the exhibitors.

At the age of 10, Serra was hit by a school bus, which left him in a coma and severely injured. After 20 years of perseverance, he made a near-full recovery, although partly paralysed throughout the right side of his body. Nevertheless, Serra is leading a fulfilling life, having climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and sailed on the Lord Nelson.

His message to the exhibitors: “Different does not mean less, it just means different and it is a privilege to be different.”

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