Not simply anyone can get a President’s Award and one that is linked to the Duke of Edinburgh Award (UK) at that.
It takes a special kind of person to qualify for this prestigious award, especially the gold, and Jess Nunes is such a person. She is only the third girl from her school to achieve this. One wonders whether Virgilio and Penny Nunes, when they let their daughter, Jess, leave Piet Retief at the beginning of her high shool career to attend St Annes Diocesan College in Hilton, KZN, could have envisaged such a great honour bestowed on her in the, then, near future. To qualify for the President’s award, one has to fulfil certain criteria and have certain qualities.
Many hours of different activities (of which some are very tough) have to be completed, new skills have to be attained and community and recreational hours have to be completed. Jess completed some community hours at Uzwelo Children’s Home as part of the Presidential Project, helping out with admin, sorting Christmas boxes and playing with the children. She then had to complete an adventurous and difficult journey within four days, including hiking and white river rafting. She did the grade seven Trinity College exam in Rock and Pop Singing, thus attaining a new skill and for a recreational activity, a private coach taught her ballroom dancing. Numerous hours of different services in and outside of school had to be completed. Jess was a House (Macrorie) Representative for the Environmental Club, Social Responsibililty, and the Social Functions Committee.
She was also a theatre Monitor, part of the choir and a peer councillor and mentor. Outside school she, as well as some other project participants, went to different pre-schools in and around Howick, doing aftercare, colouring in, dancing, singing and elaborating on themes like Easter with them. Jess says that the programme teaches you a lot, especially about yourself. You get out of your comfort zone, think differently and become more open minded and especially a lot less judgmental. It also makes you realise what you want in life to a large extent. Jess would like to thank her parents for all their support and for allowing het to attend a school which afforded her the opportunity to take part in such a programme.
Currently Jess is doing event management at the Aleit Academy in Somerset West where she has been and will be involved in inter alia De Kat, Jackie Burger’s Studio 58 and music videos with Aking. At present the Aleit Group is planning Rolene Strauss’s wedding and the students will waiter at the event. Congratulations on receiving your gold President’s Award, Jess! May your event planning course be just as big a success.