When hearing her extensive CV read out loud, Wilmé Steyn is often astounded by her own success. This humble woman attributes her strive to be extraordinary to the life lessons and opportunities received at Curro Heuwelkruin.
Wilmé, who is a final year medical student, has put her education to action by making a meaningful difference in the lives of others. She has launched societies that support people in the public health sector who cannot go to clinics during the day, managed exchanged programmes across Africa, travelled to Turkey as a South African representative for the International Federation of Medical Students’ Associations (IFMSA), been the president of student symposiums, delivered twins, and stitched up countless wounds – all while maintaining her small-town humility.
‘I was always told that I could do everything I wanted; be anything I wanted. The only thing that allowed me to become extraordinary, I think, is that the school gave me every opportunity to be more than ordinary. Things weren’t handed to me on a silver platter. I shed much sweat and many, many tears to achieve the things I have but I had the confidence, skills and education to back me up – all of which were given to me by the school.’
She learned the value of participation early on in life through the school’s belief that children should participate in everything. ‘My teachers didn’t fall for my on-the-spot excuses of being allergic to chlorine and grass, and I never won anything athletic – my complaints fell on deaf ears. Although it felt cruel at the time, I learned the incredible value of showing up mentally and physically for something you don’t feel like doing. So often in life we have to do things we don’t want to in order to get where we want to be. You can’t just do only what you want or like.’
‘I may have left the school, but what I learned there and the opportunities I received have never left me – Heuwelkruin has never left me. For a girl who couldn’t wait to leave, it will always be the home I miss the most.’
Click here for Wilme's testimony on being a frontline worker during the COVID-19 pandemic.