Bursary and mentorship programme Women in IT has announced the winners of its 2009 bursary programme.
They are Andrietta Magongoa, a second-year student at Computer Training Institute (CTI), and Koketso Motiang, who is completing her final year BComm (Informatics) degree at the University of Pretoria.
Both students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and were in dire need of financial assistance.
Andrietta Magongoa hails from Alexandra Township where she lives with her mother, a domestic worker, and brother, a grade 11 student. She started to study IT because she is fascinated by the evolution of technology.
"How technology evolves and its affect on the way things are done in the world is what attracted me to study IT," she says.
"Without the bursary I would have had to give up studying full-time and find a job to finance my final year of study. My dream has come true in that I can finish my studies without a break and I am planning on getting first-level honours at the end of this year," says Magongoa.
Keketso Motiang is completing her final year at the University of Pretoria.
"I had no exposure to IT at high-school, and it was very difficult for me when I first started studying for my BComm (Informatics) degree. After two years of study, I have discovered that IT is not only about using computers, it is actually a much broader field and I have found my niche in Informatics.
"Receiving this bursary has dramatically helped our family financially. I come from a family of five and only my mother is employed," says Motiang. "This bursary is a motivation for me to study hard and be an ambassador to the upcoming learners; I can now study and not stress about my financial situation at home," she concludes.
Women IT's Celeste Whitaker comments: "By assisting these two young women with their financial burdens, we are able to meet Women in IT's three main objectives."
The objevtives are:
* Grow: enhance the image of women in IT through knowledge transfer and education;
* Develop: act as a platform for skills development; and
* Mentor: provide access to positive role models in the IT field.
Since its inception in 2005, Women in IT has awarded nine bursaries to female students studying in the IT or ICT field.
Women in IT is networking forum, consisting of a bursary and mentorship programme that highlights the growth and development of women within the information technology sector and creates a formal and informal network between female IT students, tertiary institutions, IT professionals and corporates. It boasts about 1 800 members.
The programmes is currently looking to expand its networking forum into the senior learners' environment in order to encourage girls in grades 8 to 12 to consider IT as a career choice.