This year, the Dell Young Leaders program celebrates the inspiring milestone of reaching 750 graduates. Reflecting on the program journey, I am filled with immense pride on behalf of the many people who have contributed to its impact – from the first 25 Dell Young Leaders students in 2010 to the over 2,000 scholarship recipients to date.
The program has consistently invested time in a support model focused on one-on-one relationships with our students. This helps our ambitious young adults achieve their goals while reaching positive program outcomes – graduating from university and entering the world of work. As students and alumni, these 750 individuals helped shape the program’s support – providing us and our university partners with insights to drive student success in South Africa. And their impact will continue into 2024, as the Dell Young Leaders program grows to onboard up to 500 new first-year students from our university partners each year.
The Dell Young Leaders Community Goes Beyond University
Over the past 13 years, we have witnessed countless dreams transform into reality. Alumni have gone on to launch professional careers, grow into leaders in their varied industries, and leave a lasting impact on their families, communities, and the country. This can be attributed to the resilience, tenacity, and commitment of each of the program’s alumni to reaching their goals and shaping their destinies. They represent the transformative power of focusing on the potential of young people in South Africa.
The program recently hosted a series of alumni networking events around the country. These events were a reminder of the bonds that alumni share as the Dell Young Leaders community, but also the potential of this network as a place for collaboration, innovation, and shared purpose – to make a difference. To support this, Dell Young Leaders alumni receive lifelong access to career coaching, as well as ongoing networking and professional development opportunities. The program aims to be a lifelong community and a place to continue to learn and grow – as students, and as working professionals.
The Next Generation of Future Leaders
Through their individual journeys, each Dell Young Leaders alum has inspired young people from their family or community with hope and belief that it’s possible to realise their potential. The team undertakes this incredible opportunity with utmost commitment to the program’s guiding principle: every student matters.
As a program, we thank our alumni for their continued commitment to making a difference. They continue to inspire us to do more to help more students change their lives
Meet Prayer, Dell Young Leaders Alum
“The Dell Young Leaders program has played a key role in making me what I am today,” reflects Prayer Rikhotso, a University of Cape Town graduate and member of the 2010 program cohort.
As the current Associate Director in credit risk at one of the largest international banks operating in South Africa, Prayer has spent more than a decade building his career in the banking and investment industry. “I would have struggled to get into corporate. The program has given me the social capital to stand side-by-side with others, and a vote of confidence that I matter,” Prayer describes the impact of the program on his personal and professional life. “That I have a contribution to make in the world, regardless of my circumstances.”