Sandra was selected in 2007 and started at Ridgeway College with the first group of Sumbandila scholars in 2008. Her single mother was working at a fast food restaurant to support herself and her brother with no familial support. Six months into the program her mother became desperately ill and whilst Sandra struggled with the challenges of her new school environment she had to care for her mother and young brother on the weekends.
Tragically her mother passed away at the end of the first year and she asked to leave the programme to care for her young brother. Sumbandila made the decision to take both children into full-time care and Sandra was able to write her international IGCSE exams in 2010 with which she achieved outstanding results and received several distinctions.
She went on to write AS-level exams equally successfully and was accepted into the Pretoria University on a full Sasol Inzalo bursary to study civil engineering. ‘Sandra obtained four distinctions in her second year and is currently in her fourth and final year of civil engineering having not failed a single course to date.