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A triumph of an unfortunately rare sort, but a great one. Congratulations 
to both of you!

On Wed, 25 Jan 2012 14:57:04 +0200, Mandi Smallhorne 
<[log in to unmask]> wrote:

>Can I share this with you?
>
>I may have mentioned that eight years ago I met and befriended an Aids
>orphan in one of our shanty towns. Mbali is very bright, and battled her 
way
>through a very poor and dysfunctional school to qualify for university. 
She
>wanted to do a BSc, but could not get in due to space constraints. She
>therefore did a diploma course in biotechnology at the University of
>Johannesburg last year - and did very well, getting three distinctions, 
one
>in chemistry.
>
>We applied to transfer her to BSc this year, and the admin botched 
things -
>they told her she was accepted subject to space being available, then 
told
>her she'd been rejected. I got into a rage and wrote an impassioned - 
but I
>hope reasoned - email to the dean, pointing out that this way, South 
Africa
>was likely to lose a scientist and gain a technician. She has proved that
>she is dedicated and hardworking, and will not drop out mid-year, as so 
many
>of our deeply unprepared first-years do. I said she should be accepted 
based
>solely on her 2011 results, but added that I found it really sad that they
>were turning down a girl who, on one occasion, turned to me with a 
glowing
>face and said, "I really LOVE science!" Someone who has the potential to 
go
>way beyond BSc, to really contribute to science nationally and globally.
>(Plus, I reminded them, she has a sponsor who is paying her fees, and I 
am
>sure I can fundraise a little to cover books - so many of our first-years
>don't have enough for their fees, and can't qualify for a bank loan, the
>Catch-22 being banks won't loan to first-years who they well know 
could drop
>out.)
>
>And guess what? I got a phone call from the faculty. They have decided 
to
>accept Mbali. She's on her way! A kid born in a corrugated iron shack will
>become a scientist, will, I am sure, one day be Dr Nkabinde. Tears,
>laughter, and a desire to rush out and polka down the street.. OMG, I 
am so
>glad!
>
>Mandi
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