At the Kay Mason Foundation, our vision is to ensure equal opportunities through education and to support a new generation of leaders with impact that’s both local and national in scale. We believe that by equipping individuals to move out of poverty through education, we can support them in becoming agents of change with the potential to impact others around them.
In order to achieve this vision, we have developed a formula that works.
A Holistic Approach
This involves a holistic approach, in which we provide both comprehensive academic and psycho-social support, as well as Covid home support. We offer workshops, career guidance, psychometric testing, mental wellness support, motivational events, bursary and postgraduate support. Our programming features expert speakers, peer support, buddies and global allies, and mentors in the Catapult and Releasing Eagles programs.
We offer a number of programs designed to ensure scholars receive the academic, social, emotional and financial support they need to thrive. We begin with our Grade 6 Recruitment Program, for scholars ages 11-12. We work with primary schools, CBOs, and NPOs to recruit scholars from underserved backgrounds who can benefit from accelerated educational opportunities. Next comes the Junior Development Program, which helps selected Grade 7 scholars develop academic, social and emotional skills.
This is followed by the High School Preparation Program, which supports scholars in making connections with new classmates from different cultural, religious, and socio-economic backgrounds. Then comes the Senior Scholar Program. While attending some of the top high schools in the country, scholars have their tuition covered and enjoy access to tutoring, workshops, mentorship and other specialised support that ensures their needs are met and they can thrive. After graduating, our KMF scholars are selected for the Alumni Program, which helps maximise their opportunities.
Our Catapult Program provides career mentorship for scholars planning their next steps. We link our KMF scholars and Alumni to experts in the fields they wish to pursue – ‘catapulting’ them to success. And the potential benefits for alumni are significant. For instance, mentors might assist scholars in kick-starting their professional development, helping them set and achieve SMART goals, harness leadership skills and improve confidence. Mentors often act as accountability partners, too, sharing industry and trade secrets and exposing scholars to unparalleled networks that can open doors in terms of job shadowing, learnership opportunities and potential employment.
When it comes to the psycho-social support we offer to scholars, we place significant emphasis on emotional intelligence, presentation training, developing resilience, self-expression, self-esteem, financial savviness, developing a growth mindset, self-awareness and critical thinking.
Ethical Leadership and Entrepreneurship
This year at the KMF, two of our special areas of focus are ethical leadership and entrepreneurship. Key to these topics are values of honesty, justice, respect, community and integrity, as well as a commitment to climate consciousness. This year, we will explore various leadership styles with our scholars and engage with key speakers who are able to shed some light on these focus areas and values in action.
The youth KMF supports face many challenges today, and it’s our responsibility to equip our scholars with the tools, training and resources they need to embark on their journeys towards success.