Top Matriculant, Nicole, Goes to Medical School




Nicole pictured with her principle, Andrew Groeneveld, at Leeuwenhof where she was awarded her merit list certificate

Nine years ago, little Nicole Petersen, then in grade 4, decided that she was going to become a doctor. She had always wanted to help people get better and she was prepared to work hard to achieve her goals. Nine years later, 17 year old Nicole was informed that she was accepted into medical school at Stellenbosch University. She plans on specialising in stem cell research.

Born and raised in Paarl, Nicole is one of the country’s top performing matriculants. Not only was she the top performing student at her school, New Orleans Secondary, she was also placed on the Western Cape Department of Education’s merit list. The merit list aims to acknowledge the achievements of the top matric performers in the province and comes with a prize of R10000 and a tablet computer.
Nicole  achieved 90.9% for all her subjects and 7 distinctions in Afrikaans First Language (89%), English Additional Language (94%), Mathematics (83%), Physics (92%), Biology (91%), Accounting (95%) and Life Orientation (92%).

Nicole says that when her principle, Andrew Groeneveld, came to her house to tell her about the merit list, she was so surprised that she jumped with joy. It was also announced in a school assembly that she was the top student in her school. Before the top student was announced, the students started chanting her name because she has always been a top performer and the students are proud of her achievements.

In addition to being the top achiever in her school, Nicolle was the school’s head girl and she also received the, Novus Holdings’ Paarl Media Trust Fund bursary. The Trust Fund awards bursaries to top performing students with leadership skills and community involvement.  She also received the Cape Winelands District Directors award for top achievers and she was one of the students that represented South African in the Model United Nations student debate in New York.

Nicole says that she believes that nobody should compare themselves to anyone else. You should make the right choices, be proud of who you are and take advantage of the opportunities that presents itself to you.

Source: Netwerk24 (translated and edited from an article by Devidean Moses), other

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