Maureen Pennels
Award Level:
Favourite memory of the Award:
I have many fond memories of the award. Definitely one of my favorites was having the wonderful opportunity through The Presidents Award South Africa, to complete my residential project away from the comfort of my home, all the way on the other side of the country in Nelspruit. It was a great feeling to know I was aiding the much needed renovation of a school, as well as making long lasting memories and special friendships.
Biggest challenge from doing the Award:
A big challenge from doing this award was being consistent. This is definitely not an award for procrastinators, as success is only guaranteed through continuous and consistent efforts made towards the goal of achieving this award. Through doing this award, I have learnt to appreciate the fruits of hard work.
South Africa
Have you continued any of your Award activities? If so, what:
During my time at university, I often participated in beach clean ups with the Presidents Award alumni and school-going participants of the award. At the moment, I am not directly involved with the award activities. However, to this day, I do carry the key values from the award. I often participate in charity projects in my workplace, giving back to the community. The Presidents Award has made me the person I am today, and I am very appreciative of the opportunity to take part in something so special at such a young age.
Tell us the story behind your photo:
The photo was taken in 2011, when I was in grade 11 (I was 17 years old). This photo was taken at my residential project, which was a charity collaboration project with a team from the Netherlands, as well as other Presidents Awards candidates from other parts of South Africa. The project involved refurbishing a school, where we replaced windows, painted the inside and outside of the school buildings, as well as completely overall their library. We spent about 4 days doing this project, from the morning to the evening, with about 50 participants working towards this common goal. On the 5th day, we were all treated to a drive through Kruger National Park game reserve. It was tons of fun working in a team of participants from many different backgrounds, learning about different cultures, as well as knowing that we were helping to improve a school building. During this project I made friendships which have lasted to this day. It felt great to have worked towards making the world a better place, in however a small way.
Award Role: