Thobeka Mkhwanazi

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My name is Thobeka Mkhwanazi, I am 22 years old and I was born in Ulundi, Eastern Cape.

As a high school student in a small town of Ulundi, I always dreamed of going to University and becoming a Doctor. The only problem was that my mother could not afford to send me to university as she works as a casual at Spar. No one in my family could afford to go to university and I was never certain that I would be able to go to University.

When Umthombo called me in January 2015 shortly after we had our interview, that's when my life changed for the better. I have been enrolled at university and I am currently in my 5th year pursuing a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery and have continued to work hard to ensure that I get good marks.

Getting good marks is my way of showing my gratitude to UYDF for giving me this amazing opportunity to study medicine.

Through my hard work, I was placed in the top 15% of my class in 2016 and received an International Golden Key Award for that.

One of the reasons why I chose to study medicine was because I have seen the communication barrier between doctors and people within the community. This really touched me because communication is vital, especially in regards to someone's health. This is when I decided to study medicine so that I can be of assistance to my community.

My mother has also been influential in me wanting to succeed in life as she has made sure we have food and a roof over our heads.

Thank you UYDF and Aspen, there is no greater feeling than knowing that you do not have to worry about tuition fees, but all you have to do is study and aim for excellence.

Thank you, Aspen, for your investment in Thobeka Mkhwanazi and the future of students like me.