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Cassidy Arendse aims for Harvard University

Matriculant from Klipspruit West is ready for a new chapter in her life in the medical field.

Cassidy Arendse from Klipspruit West achieved seven distinctions with a 90% average at St Stithians Girls’ College.

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Arendse shared that she did expect higher results but is thankful that she is finally done with school and is looking forward to the new chapter in her life.

“I only started at St Stithians Girls’ College in Grade 10 and when I got there, I realized that it is a whole different standard of education and excellence so I increased my work schedule, I cancelled plans with friends, even lost a few along the way. I had a 15-hour schedule a day and I think I even lost my good eyesight because I was constantly on the computer working. I started planning for the end of matric in Grade 10, I knew what I wanted and set goals for each subject. I practiced all of the past papers. I was committed to studying and working hard,” Arendse said.

When it comes to the new chapter in her life, Arendse has been accepted at the University of Kentucky for Biomedical Engineering but is still waiting until the end of March for Harvard University to respond. Locally, she has applied to the University of Cape Town.

Since the age of 12, she wanted to be a paediatrician and recently decided that she would like to specialise in neurology and oncology. “I believe that medicine and health care is a way of giving back to the community,” she added.

The semester that Arendse applied for at Harvard University only starts in August so she is hoping to get enough funding so that she can afford to study overseas.

In order to gain experience, make a little money to contribute towards her studies, and boost her credits, Arendse has already began working as an intern at a pharmacy.

The top achiever added that she has applied for bursaries and financial aid at the university but will only know if she qualifies once the university responds to her application.

Charmaine Isaacs who is the grandmother of Arendse said; “I don’t think that there is any other grandmother that is as proud I am. Cassidy’s mother and her siblings made many sacrifices to support Cassidy so we all celebrate Cassidy’s success.”

Arendse’s message to the Class of 2021; is to be proud of yourselves knowing that you have done your best. You have made it through two years of Covid-19, two years of online classes, two years of load-shedding and not knowing when the Wi-Fi is going to cut or when you are going to get those lessons.

“For the class of 2022, my uncle always said, failing to plan is a plan to fail. Once you have developed a plan, commit to it and everything you do even if it’s assignments, or homework, always give 150%. It is also important that if you feel that you need a break, you must take it to prevent mental breakdowns,” said Arendse.

The teen would like to send a special thank you to Thandulwazi Maths and Science Academy who granted her the opportunity to attend St Stithians Girls’ College as they have paid for her school fees, stationery, textbooks, and uniform. She also thanks her funders at FEM. “I would have never gotten to where I am without them. I also want to thank all of my teachers who always availed themselves to me, you all played a vital role in my success,” she concluded.

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