An Introduction to WC Top 20 Matriculant, Michaela Standaar

Elsies River High’s Michaela Standaar is a typical Cape Flats kid. She does not come from a rich family, does her daily chores, and as the eldest, is sometimes expected to help take care of her siblings. She is also really good at maths and one of the Western Cape’s top 20 students.

Born and raised in Elsies River, the straight-A student says that she realized that she has a love for numbers when she was 13. It was then that she decided that she would become an accountant. However, she had to work hard to achieve this dream, especially given her responsibilities.

She says that, because of her chores, she did not follow any study timetable. She was also sometimes expected to take care of her younger siblings, which made it even more difficult to stick to a timetable. She did, however, take a two-hour ‘power nap’ every day and then sat up until 02:00 am in the morning to study and complete her homework. Her concerned grandmother, Cecilia, always tried to get her to rest some more but Michaela knew that she had to study hard and sacrifice a lot to get to where she wants to be.

Michaela’s disciplined and determined attitude paid off when she not only scored a distinction in Maths, but also in Accounting, Life Sciences, Life Orientation, English and Afrikaans. She was named one of the Western Cape’s top matriculants and she received a full bursary to study accounting at Stellenbosch University. At school, she was also a member of the first aid club (mainly to assist the rugby players), youth society, the school newspaper and the debating society.

One of Michaela’s characteristics that helped her to excel is that she is not arrogant. In addition to studying every day, she also took extra maths and accounting classes. Her friends and family kept on telling her that she is smart enough and that she does not need extra classes. Michaela, however, does not think that this is true. She believes that every bit of effort counts and that the extra classes helped her a lot.

As an accountant, she will be making a huge salary, but she does not see it as a way to buy a luxury car or a big house. She sees it as a way to solve problems. She is determined to make enough money so that she can help out with the community. She says that the biggest problem for kids living in places like Elsies River is that they can’t afford to dream big. There is never enough money so there is no time to dream and she thinks that this is an injustice. As a result, she plans on using the money that she earns to start a scholarship for kids in communities like her own.

Most importantly, she wants to make sure that her parents do not have to worry about money again. She wants them to live comfortably because they worked hard to put food on the table. Her parents, Monique and Gregory, are very proud of her, describing her as someone that always strives to do her best. Her doting grandparents, Cecilia and Godfrey, describes her as a hardworking young lady and says that they all cried when they saw her results.

Going forward, Michaela will do what she has always done, and excel. Although she loved high school, for her, this not the end, but the beginning of a brand new journey.

Source: (from an article by Tarryn-Leigh Solomons), other