Member Highlights

Francois Olivier making a difference

 Talk of the Town - 11 August 2016


Great work initiated by Bianca Kramer

Golden Key, UCT member, Bianca Kramer, undertook on own accord the massive project to upgrade the Heatherdale Children's Home in Athlone.

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She wrote:

"Heatherdale Children’s Home in Athlone required assistance to upgrade the living environment, facilities and building structure which were old, run-down and broken. As part of my third year Social Work community work practical I needed to develop a community project. As my colleagues developed initiatives such as picnics, awareness campaigns and fun days, I found myself brainstorming as to how I could develop a project that will not only give these very special children a day of fun and happiness, but also continue to enrich their well-being once the project was over. I decided to develop an initiative mobilizing resources to meet Heatherdale’s needs for a newer, safer and more enriching home environment. I contacted companies, professionals, individuals and organisations requesting donations of paint, building materials, furniture, professional skills and other necessities.

After conducting a needs assessment the target amount came to R1,5 million. Although I knew it was a very ambitious target, I was adamant to do the best I could to reach this goal. I spent my time contacting potential sponsors, facilitating site visits, collecting donations, updating social media, facilitating refurbishments and planning the launch. This was done simultaneously to my full time degree and my practical work at the home. Over the short two and a half months I managed to network and gain generous assistance from many individuals and companies. A large amount of volunteers also assisted when necessary, as this was all very overwhelming for one individual.

On the 10th of October 2015 the renovated home launched with a day of empowering activities and entertainment for the children, sponsors, staff and volunteers enjoyment. Our generous food sponsors allowed this day to also be filled with delicious lunch and treats.

Overall the project raised an estimated R500 000 in cash, donations and services! Thanks to all of you they are able to wake up to a brighter and more vibrant home!

Thank you to KFM, Dis-Chem Pharmacies, Cape Town Plumbing and Bathroom Supplies, AC construction, Lewis stores, Dermatech Training Institute, Charly's Bakery, Caterkid, Myog Frozen Yogurt, Sacks Butchery, In Good Company, Urban Landscape, Maxim Kids, Green Point Salesian Soccer Club , Frankies Soft Drinks, Afrodizzyacts, Helen Cook Make-Up Artistry, Mural Maniac, Adam Zackon, The Grinnell Group of Companies, Jive, Golden Key Society, Craig Ross, the amazing volunteers (thank you all so so much), and all others I have failed to mention - all of your contributions are equally valuable."






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2016 International Summit; background-position: 100% -28px; background-repeat: no-repeat;">07/28/2016 - 07/31/2016 JW MARRIOTT TUCSON STARR PASS RESORT & SPA, TUCSON, AZ

Golden Key's International Summit brings the brightest and most passionate members together across the globe for three fun-filled days.

For more information, visit to view the International Summit website. 


2015 International Summit Recap


1.jpegPursue Your Path in Paradise. This was the theme of our 2015 International Summit on the Gold Coast and what a paradise it is! With its world-famous beaches, the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia was an incredible setting for our very first International Summit outside of the US!

The 2015 International Summit was held at the beautiful Surfers Paradise Marriott Resort & Spa from 16-19 July. With more than 300 members, advisors, alumni, partners and friends attending from all over the world, this year’s International Summit was a not-to-miss event!


Thursday, 16 July was the first day of the conference. The delegates arrived throughout the day and visited the on-site registration for their name badges, conference goodies and t-shirts. They were then broken up into groups for the Amazing Race. Teams raced around the city doing challenges like eating Wheat-Bix and naming Australian animals. The Amazing Race gave delegates the chance to explore the city, learn about Australian culture and make friends from around the world prior to the conference start.


Then it was time to officially welcome everyone at our conference kick off, the Opening Session! Opening Session started off by celebrating each country present by having the Council of Student Members (CoSM) representatives from each country walk on stage carrying their flags. Brad Rainey, Golden Key Executive Director, welcomed all attendees and played a video that recapped all of the wonderful accomplishments of our chapters over the past year. Next, it was time for our keynote speech from Michael Crossland. Timothy Ng, Council of Student Members representative from The University of Waikato, won the opportunity to introduce Michael.

4.jpgDiagnosed with aggressive life threatening cancer before his first birthday doctors told Michael school and sport were not options. Infection and fatigue were too great a risk. His only wish was to lead a normal life and be able to do all the things that other ‘normal’ kids took for granted every day.

Now, an accomplished businessman, Australian of the Year finalist, Australia Day Ambassador, Camp Quality Ambassador and international hall of fame inductee, Michael inspires many people from all walks of life with his story and inspiration of believing in yourself and achieving the impossible dreams. Michael has an absolute passion and belief in people’s ability to change direction and become who they truly want to be and achieve success. We then had the amazing opportunity to induct Michael as an honorary member.

“It was an awesome night speaking at the Golden Key Summit and to get a lifetime honorary member was extremely moving & a standing ovation was overwhelming,” Michael said. “The world is in good hands with the future leaders from Golden Key.” The overwhelming response from delegates was that Michael was one of the most inspirational speakers they have ever heard. “I loved Michael Crossland. He energized me in a new way and made me want to do more for the world,” one delegate said.

The Opening Session was a great way to start the conference! Afterwards, delegates were then given the chance to network and mingle at the International Meet and Greet Mixer. This closed the first night with a wonderful opportunity to make friends and connections from around the world.

Day 2 (Friday, 17 July) started up with our Plenary Sessions where delegates were served a light breakfast, heard an update from headquarters and were given a chance to ask questions about the Society.

5.jpgThroughout the day on Friday there was a large variety of workshops that delegates could take part in. From chapter specific lessons to personal/professional development workshops to a track specifically for chapter advisors, the workshops had something for everyone! Attending the various workshops to grow professionally and take lessons back to one’s chapter is the most important part of the Summit.

One delegate told us: “There was a broad range of workshops which was good to know. I followed the personal development path pretty closely and I enjoyed nearly all of the talks given. The workshop leaders were fantastic at connecting with the audience and presenting their content in a concise and effective way.”

Examples of some of the workshop titles were: Maximizing Your Career Opportunities With LinkedIn, Running with Scissors – How To Create Balance, Maximizing Your Chapter Success through Strategic Collaborations, Secrets of Advisors, and How to Nudge: Implementing Change Within a Workplace.

Several other activities happened throughout the day. Golden Key held its second Poster Session. Delegates had the chance to display their academic work for the chance to be awarded scholarship money. All attendees were welcome to visit the Poster Session to view the academic work of the participants. On the last day we were able to present the Poster Session winners with their checks. The winners were: Simangele Msweli from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, Tanyaradzwa Mushohwe from Stellenbosch University, Carlee Toddes from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, and the overall winner, Fadzai Muramba from the University of Cape Town.


Following lunch there was a Career Panel that discussed how the job market has changed over time and where it is globally. The panel was made up of guests from recruitment agencies and those working in senior operation positions and career development. Attendees had the chance to ask the panelist questions and learn more about personal branding, interview and resume preparation, career change and succeeding in the workforce.


After the workshops concluded, advisors were taken to Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary to enjoy a night dedicated to appreciating all of their hard work. Advisors were able to mingle with Australian animals like koalas, crocodiles and kangaroos!


Saturday, 18 July was the Day 3 of the Summit, where our SPARK a Change service activities were the main focus.

Those participating in the service projects were welcomed and learned about the organization we teamed up with: FSG Australia. FSG Australia is a for-purpose community organization and center for social enterprise whose mission and vision is to have a community that connects with all people and is free of social injustice.

Attendees were randomly split up into groups for the three different projects. The projects were: (1) soy candle making where the proceeds go towards underfunded children’s programs, (2) learning how to paint from indigenous artist and then painting boxes for children in foster care, and (3) a Brains Trust activity where participants were given a problem or project that they were asked to solve or assist with.


Through the hard work and dedication of the GK members present, 645 hours of service were completed and 3,260 lives were touched in only two and a half hours of service done on Saturday!  We hope each of the attendees will leave this International Summit and head back to their local communities to continue to SPARK a Change and helping us accomplish our SPARK goals of 400,000 hours of service, 400,000 lives impacted and raising $40,000 by our 2017 International Summit!

Attendees also had the chance to attend additional workshops if they did not want to participate in the service projects.

That evening, the Red Carpet Reception was held. Those that registered for this additional event had the opportunity to mix and mingle with Simon Griffiths, a social entrepreneur and the 2015 Closing Gala keynote speaker. As 6:00 p.m. rolled around on Saturday, it was time to close out the conference at the Gala.

12.jpgIn 2007, after turning down his dream job offer as a corporate high-flyer, Simon moved from Australia to South Africa to immerse himself in his true passion: development aid. There he discovered that the biggest problem faced by NGOs and social entrepreneurs is a lack of funding. Since then he has launched three social businesses of his own, all focused on revolutionizing the way society thinks about and engages in philanthropy.

Simon’s latest venture is an ethical home products company. Its flagship product is “Who Gives A Crap”, an environmentally friendly toilet paper that uses 50% of its profits to build toilets in the developing world. He is also well known for his work as co-founder of Shebeen, Australia’s first non-profit bar. Shebeen sells exotic beer and wine from the developing world with the profit from each sale supporting a project in that particular drink’s country of origin. After Simon’s wonderful keynote address, we had the privilege to induct him as a Golden Key honorary member.

“The keynote speaker was excellent and I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Simon Griffiths. He was very relevant and inspirational,” one attendee told us. “The food and venue were excellent, the music was superb, the energy was contagious, and the reveal of the next summit location made me really excited to try and go next year!”


Next an excellent three-course dinner was served. After dinner, there were just a few more things to wrap up. We were very excited to present Key Chapter recipients with special plaques. The Key Chapter Award is a very special honor and only the most esteemed chapters receive it. Then the Poster Session winners were announced and a few surprise scholarships were awarded.

Before we officially closed the Summit, we revealed the location of the next GK International Summit: Tucson, Arizona! The announcement was a great way to end such an amazing event. GK members, see you in Tucson in 2016!

The night ended with attendees letting loose on the dance floor!

Golden Key would like to send a huge thank you to everyone that attended and helped out at the 2015 International Summit!

Watch the recap video here

See you in Tuscon, Arizona from 28 July to 1 August 2016!!


Congratulations – Doraine de Beer: Winner – 2014 Education Debt Reduction Award, US$5,000

Personal Statement & Quote



I am so blessed and honoured to receive the Golden Key Fall 2014 Debt Reduction Scholarship.  I would like to express my deepest gratitude for the scholarship you have given me.   

You have no idea how happy I was when I received notification that I was selected.  It was such a surprise.  Your generosity will allow me to pursue my dreams, and for that, I cannot thank you enough.  Because of this scholarship it will help alleviate my financial burden. 

I am from South Africa, Pretoria, and graduated from North-West University Potchefstroom in 2014 with Honours in Accounting.  It is during my undergraduate studies that I became a member at Golden Key, and I could not be happier regarding that decision.

I am thankful for an organization that values education and support members in various ways.   

Thank you to everyone at Golden Key for this generous award, it is much appreciated!

Keep believing in what you want in life, and then the more likely it will happen – (DO)n’t qu(IT)”




Congratulations - Willem de Beer: Winner - 2014 Education Debt Reduction Award, US$5,000

 Personal Statement: Willem de Beer

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“When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other. Therefore, no one can discover anything about their future” - (Ecclesiastes 7:14).

My name is Willem Frederik Andries de Beer; I come from Pretoria, South Africa. I am an ordained minister of the Dutch Reformed Church, studied Theology, and represent my country as a track and field athlete. Today is a time to be happy. Both good and bad times are reality in life and echo’s through the lives of our friends and family as well as our own.

Today I am the proud receiver of the Golden Key 2014 Education Debt Reduction, Fall Selection. I received the award for Student Sportsman of the year 2012 as well as the Vice-Chancellor and Principals award for exceptional academic and sports performance in 2012 at my University. Those do not compare with receiving this scholarship from Golden key.

After finishing my post graduate degree in 2013 and becoming a Golden Key member in 2014 I had no idea what the future holds for me. After seven years of study I had a substantial amount of study loans to pay off. It would have taken me four more years by myself considering other living costs as well. This award not only made my life easier but motivates me to follow my dreams. But today I am given the opportunity to settle my affairs of the past and start working on my dreams for tomorrow which includes:

  • Starting another post graduate qualification in the field of Practical Theology.
  • Pursuing Olympic glory as a professional athlete.

Focus on giving back to my sport and being active in the community.

Thank you Golden Key 


2015 South African Mini-Summits

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Visit "News & Events" for information and registration.

Congratulations – Cikida Gcali: Winner – 2014 Joan Nelson Study Abroad Scholarship Award US$2,500

Personal Statement: Cikida Gcali:


What does winning this award mean to me?

 “Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

Words cannot even begin to describe how inundated I am with joy and gratitude upon hearing that I am the winner of such a prestigious scholarship! Coming from a modest home in the South of Johannesburg, this award means not only being able to dive into an international network of brilliant minds, but to also share ideas and connect with the future game changers of the most relevant industries in the world. As a Chemical Engineering Honours graduate being awarded this scholarship means I will be able to further my studies and pursue a masters in petroleum engineering at one of the most reputable universities that offer this program in the Unites States. It will also allow me the opportunity of networking with other engineering students from different parts of the world in order to discover their insights on some of the world’s toughest engineering problems concerning energy and fuel. Coming from a hometown where not many people are given the opportunity to travel let alone study overseas, I am certain that this award will inspire those coming behind me to strive towards similar and greater achievements.

During my time on campus, I have also been affiliated with a business society, which was the largest business society at the time of my tenure as Vice-chairperson in 2013. I am also currently a member of Engineers without borders, an engineering society that seeks to use engineering as a means of solving real life problems within disadvantaged communities. I have also been on the Dean’s list, which recognises the achievement of the top 10% of students within each faculty. I have also been a receiver of the University Entrance Scholarship and the University Council Merit Scholarship.

Serving as the Treasurer of the Golden Key Honorary Society, Wits Chapter in 2013 has allowed me to have many incredible experiences with the society; from attending the International Summit in Boston, to organizing my own women’s day event for the society, which was a sterling success. I can definitely say with confidence that being a part of this society has allowed me to grow into a capable and open-minded young woman. I was also given the opportunity to be part of the International Scholar Laureate Program, the Business delegation, which was an amazing experience.  I am hoping that by attending graduate school in the United States I will be able to have an experience that will exceed my greatest expectations!

Congratulations – Erasmus du Toit: Winner – 2014 Graduate Scholar Scholarship Award - Spring Selection - US$10,000

Personal Statement: Erasmus du Toit:

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“The Graduate Scholar Scholarship Award provides great relief, allowing me to pursue a Doctoral degree in Plasma Physics at the University of York in the United Kingdom. In particular, I will be pursuing a degree in a field of physics not currently being researched in my country, South Africa, so this award will help me to achieve my goal and broaden the scientific knowledge in South Africa. I would like to thank the Golden Key International Honour Society for awarding me this Award, and allowing me to pursue my dream.”

Graduate School: University of York, United Kingdom

Concentration: Doctor of Philosophy in Plasma Physics

Hometown: Paarl, South Africa


Congratulations – Leandri Hattingh: Winner – 2014 Allumni Professional Development Grant US$1,000

Personal Statement: Leandri Hattingh


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 “I truly feel honoured and privileged to receive this scholarship. This will certainly contribute a great deal in covering my expenses for attending the 2014 Graphic Medicine Conference in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. My attendance at the conference as a presenter promises to broaden my horizons and further develop my interest in the relationship between medicine and the arts and social sciences. I look forward to bringing back my leanings and sharing them with colleagues and other interested parties, in particular, the conveners and participants in the first ever Medicine and the Arts course in South Africa.”

Golden Key wishes Dr Hattingh all of the best with her future endeavors.

Congratulations – Curwyn Mapaling: Winner – 2014 Community Service Scholarship Award US$1,000

Personal Statement: Curwyn Mapaling


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Personal Quote:

I am honoured to be receiving this award and I am a proud Golden Key member!  Winning this award means so much more than just recognition of my involvement in the 10 organisations I serve.  I would like to thank Golden Key for this award and the communities I volunteer in for allowing me to learn from them, and grow with them, whilst having the privilege of being fortunate enough to help them. Furthermore, it serves as added motivation to continue doing what I love doing, by making it even easier for me to do so.”

Graduate School Concentration:

Psychology (4th Year Baccalaureus Psychologiae: Counselling Student)

Home Town:

Uitenhage (in the Eastern Cape of South Africa)

Affiliations with other membership organizations:

As the Chairperson (2012/13) for the NMMU Student Alumni Society, I led and served as the spokesperson for an organisation of 300 students.  I assisted in the establishment of the NMMU Psychology Society and was later appointed as Advisor.  I am also a Senior How2 Buddy and Senior Peer Helper.  Furthermore, I am a Trainer and Coordinator of Health Science How2 Buddies. I am also the Research Assistant of the Institutional Research Team for Humanising Pedagogy. 

Other Academic, Leadership and Service awards won:

· Abe Bailey Travel Bursary 2014

(Awarded to outstanding university students and young academics (less than 25 years old) to travel to the UK to widen their experience.) 

· Golden Key International Summit Travel Grant

(Awarded to attend the 2014 International Summit in Boston, Massachusetts)

· Peer Helper: Gold Achievement 2013 -2014

· VWSA WSF John Gomomo Education Trust Bursary Programme 2012 -2014

(Awarded to motivated, driven and dedicated individuals who possess excellent communication skills, leadership skills, leadership potential and an above average academic record)

· ALICE Award Winner 2012

(Awarded for going Above and Beyond in Community Outreach)

·Golden Key International Honour Society

(Awarded for achieving Academic Excellence amongst the Top 15% of NMMU students)

·NMMU Student Merit Award Bursary 2012

· Academic Excellence in Introduction to Industrial Psychology 2011

Golden Key experiences:

I am the Vice-President: Leadership and Academics of the Golden Key International Honour Society NMMU Chapter for 2013/14.  Previously, I served as the Event’s Coordinator during the 2012/2013 term of office of the NMMU Chapter.  


Golden Key wishes Curwyn all of the best with his future endeavors.


Congratulations – Esther van Eeden: Winner – 2014 Spring Study Award Scholarship US$1,000

Personal Quote:

“The only important thing about design is how it relates to people”. Having completed my undergraduate studies in Consumer Science and Marketing at the University of Pretoria in South Africa, I wanted to understand how my skills could be used to help create a more equal society by using design. The recognition I received from Golden Key was a constant reminder to stay focussed and dedicated throughout my studies. Without it, I don’t think I would have received my academic honorary colours and won best design student for my undergraduate degree. It is ultimately these experiences that motivated me to keep dreaming bigger and constantly seek new opportunities. Being accepted into Cardiff University’s MSc Sustainable Design programme at the Welsh School of Architecture was amazing because I believe that we need more international perspectives to solve the problems we face as society today. I wish to thank Golden Key for this award as it will aid in repaying my student loan."

 Golden Key wishes Esther all of the best with her MSc Studies at Cardiff Univeristy – United Kingdom


Mphirime Lefa, scholarship recipient of the Jacob Zuma Foundation and member of the UFS Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society, sends his best wishes to the UFS students for the year-end exams

Mphirime Lefa, scholarship recipient of the Jacob Zuma Foundation and member of the UFS Chapter of the Golden Key International Honour Society, sends his best wishes to the UFS students for the year-end exams.

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With his experiences in life Mhpirime strongly advices people to keep up with dreaming big.  “Many people, also from deep rural areas, have proven that dreams do come true.  Regardless of how hard things may seem, remember that giving up won’t make anything easier.  Being under the motion of UFS of inspiring excellence and transforming lives lay the key requirements for success.  We need to do well, to establish excellence as a culture amongst the up-coming ones.  This would help fighting the cycle of integrated poverty.


Strong motivation is provided by one’s peers.  If someone is really doing well academically, one only need to put pride and ego aside and ask the person how to perform as well as they do!  All we need is for everyone to be successful and discover the fruits of being successful in life.  Praying hard and working smart are required to maximize potential.  We all can achieve success.  If someone from the same background as you achieved success, why can’t you?


God never fail his people believe in him and your abilities.

We can all make it by being there for each other and building one another.






Dream Careers extended the deadline to enroll and receive a $1000 discount to 30 September

 Enroll with Dream Careers by 30 September 2014 and receive a $1000 discount

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Dream Careers extended the deadline to enroll and receive a $1000 discount to September 30. Email communications were delivered over the weekend to promote the September 30 deadline. In addition, they will extend a $500 discount through November 30.


Global Internship Initiative

Golden Key and Dream Careers are proud to expand the “Global Internship Initiative.” Golden Key members will receive priority access to nearly 5,000 of the most coveted internships in 10 cities throughout the world in an effort to increase global career development and cultural immersion. The application fee will be waived for all members who use the promotional code,GOLDENKEY. Additionally, members who enroll before December 6 will receive a $500 grant toward their tuition on any 2014 summer internship program.  For more information, follow the link. You need to login using your GKID and surname.

Read about Jennifer and three other Golden Key members' experience.  

To apply and for more information about Dream Careers, follow this link.



One of the questions often asked by potential members is: "What is in it for me, by joining Golden Key"

This video clip contains the answers given by student members when the question was posed to them.



In our latest video, several members from around the world share the value they’ve gotten out of being a Golden Key member.


View here 



Golden Key is proud to announce SPARK a Change, our new global service initiative. The mission of SPARK a Change is to bring all our chapters together towards a common objective: to impact and improve the lives of at-risk youth across the globe through literacy, education and real-world preparedness.


It is estimated that one in five adults in the world cannot read or write. Even among those who are literate, many face challenges in receiving a quality education. As a society that recognizes the importance of education, Golden Key identifies literacy, education and real world preparedness skills as rights that everyone is entitled to. In an attempt to improve the lives of those who are not fortunate enough to receive a quality education or have tough circumstances to overcome, Golden Key’s SPARK a Change will give members, advisors and volunteers the opportunity to help youth who may not have the resources to reach their full potential.

With the creation of SPARK a Change, Golden Key projects that our chapters will help us complete our goal of more than $40,000 raised, 400,000 hours of service performed and the lives of more than 400,000 people affected by the year 2017! Golden Key will also give out scholarships totaling $1,000 this year to chapters who have the greatest impact in their communities.

When all of our chapters can work together towards a common goal, we can truly move the needle on important societal issues. We are so excited to see all the wonderful projects that our members get involved in. YOU can SPARK a Change!


Watch the video and learn more:

SPARK a Change 

Visit the website.


BE DRIVEN, You Hold The Key. This was the theme of our 2014 International Summit and it rang true for all of the superb attendees who have the drive and potential to make an impact not only in their communities, but also on the world.

The 2014 International Summit was held at the beautiful Westin Boston Waterfront Hotel in Boston, MA from 31 July to 3 August. With more than 700 members, advisors, alumni, partners and friends attending from all over the world, this International Summit was a not-to-miss event! We would like to send a big thanks to GEICO, our International Summit Presenting Sponsor, without whom this event would not have been possible.

Before Summit was officially kicked off, attendees that came early had the opportunity to go on tours of Boston area sites led by local Golden Key members and HQ staff.  The group that went on Tuesday, 29 July, visited the Freedom Trail, Massachusetts “New” State House, Faneuil Hall and the Museum of Science.  The Wednesday group went to the New England Aquarium and had the chance to explore Harvard, the square, the university itself and their museum of natural history.  One participant said, “I loved the pre-tour! It was a wonderful chance to get to see the city, and get to meet fellow Golden Key members. I would definitely do it again, and I would recommend the pre-tour to others.”

1Thursday, 31 July was the first day of the conference. The delegates arrived throughout the day and visited the on-site registration for their name badges, conference goodies and t-shirts.  Then it was time to officially welcome everyone at our conference kick-off, the Opening Session!

Opening Session started off with a flag processional with members from each of the countries where Golden Key is present.  The Boston Police Gaelic Column Bagpipe band, a tradition to many local Bostonians, led the processional. Next Brad Rainey, Golden Key Executive Director, welcomed all attendees and played a video that recapped all of the wonderful accomplishments of our chapters over the past two years. Next, it was time for our keynote speech. Golden Key member A’kena LongBenton from Wayne State University won the opportunity to welcome keynote speaker Ethan Zohn.

1623597_430929543716139_5298146472767539290_nEthan Zohn is the 2002 winner of the U.S. reality television show Survivor. With his 1 million dollar prize money, Ethan co-founded Grassroot Soccer, a nonprofit organization that trains professional soccer players to teach African children, a tailor-made SKILLZ curriculum, about HIV/AIDS prevention. In May of 2009, Ethan was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma cancer and has now successfully beaten it—twice.  He spoke about being a survivor, gave life lessons and left us all inspired and motivated.  “Opening Session was very fun and energetic! Ethan Zohn was a fantastic speaker, and I appreciated his story,” said a delegate. We then had the amazing opportunity to induct Ethan as an Honorary Member. Ethan also announced that he will be dedicating a scholarship to a Golden Key member next year.

 Opening Session continued with the recognition of 2013 scholarship recipients who were present at the conference. Next, we were excited to unveil our new Global Service Initiative:  SPARK a Change.  We played a video and let the attendees know they could participate in the first ever SPARK service event on Saturday. The Opening Session was a great way to start the conference. Afterwards, delegates were then given the chance to network and mingle while advisors and VIP guests were taken on a boat cruise that sailed the beautiful Boston Harbor.

GEICO_exhibitorDay 2 started up with our Plenary Sessions where delegates were served breakfast and heard an update from headquarters.  The EXPO and Marketplace were open from 8am-4pm so attendees could stop by on their breaks. The EXPO consisted of more than 30 exhibitors consisting of graduate schools and organizations.  Exhibitors included Duke’s Fuqua School of Business, Collegefeed, Harvard Kennedy School, Columbia University’s school of education, The Princeton Review, King’s College London, Vault, Rotman School of Management—just to name a few. The Marketplace was the interactive area of the EXPO hall where attendees could take pictures in the photo booth, play games (such as Heads Up and corn hole), get professional headshots taken free of charge and charge their electronic devices at the charging station.

photo xnkhs.JPGThroughout the day on Friday there was a large variety of workshops that delegates could take part in. From chapter specific lessons to personal/professional development workshops to a track specifically for chapter advisors, the workshops had something for everyone.  Attending the various workshops to grow professionally and take lessons back to one’s chapter is the most important part of the Summit.

postersessionSeveral other activities happened throughout the day.  For the first time, Golden Key held a Poster Session. Delegates had the chance to display their academic work for the chance to be awarded scholarship money. All attendees were welcome to visit the Poster Session to view the academic work of the participants.  On the last day we were able to present the Poster Session winners with their checks.  Jennifer Greer was awarded 1st place ($1,000), Aygul Gaysina was the runner up ($750), followed by Stacy Philip in 3rd ($500) and an honorable mention for Sahil Gupta ($250).  There was also a New Charter Reception and Online School Reception.

Participants make snack bags for the homeless

Participants make snack bags for the homeless

Next it was time for day 3, Saturday, where our service activities, sponsored by Dream Careers, were the focus.  Attendees also had the chance to attend additional workshops if they did not want to participate in the service projects.  Those participating in the service projects were welcomed and learned about the two organizations we teamed up with: the City Mission Society of Boston and the Biojewelry project of the WY Partners of the Americas. Attendees were randomly split up into groups for the different projects. The projects with the City Mission Society of Boston included making fleece blankets, hats and scarves; bagging toiletries and snacks; making watercolor artwork; and the school mailings and book program.  A former homeless man and woman spoke to these groups about their experiences living in homelessness and working with the City Mission Society of Boston. The group working with Biojewelry created jewelry from Brazilian seeds and nuts.  The funds raised from the sale of the jewelry will go towards buying mobile mammogram units for women in remote locations of Brazil. Watch a recap of the service projects here!

The service projects were our first SPARK events.  Through the hard work and dedication of the GK members present, 849 hours of service were completed and 2,175 lives were touched.  We hope each of the attendees will leave this International Summit and head back to their local communities to begin SPARKing a change and helping us accomplish our SPARK goals of 400,000 hours of service, 400,000 lives impacted and raising $40,000 by our 2017 International Summit!

That evening, the Red Carpet Reception was held. Those that registered for this additional event had the opportunity to mix and mingle with Jerry Greenfield, co-founder of Ben and Jerry’s and our 2014 Closing Gala keynote speaker. As 6pm rolled around on Saturday, it was time to close out the conference at the Gala.

Before dinner and entertainment began, we had a silly, fun way to recap the conference with our “Happy” video. Next it was time for our contest winner, Jon Morris who is Auburn University’s Chapter President, to introduce our keynote speaker. We also had a chance to share a little bit about Jon’s story by playing his winning video.

GK Members Pose With Jerry

GK Members Pose With Jerry

Then it was time for Jerry Greenfield to address the captive audience.  Jerry and his long-time friend and business partner Ben Cohen are the men behind one of the most talked-about, and least conventional success stories in American business. Co-founder of Ben & Jerry’s Homemade, Inc., Greenfield has helped to build a store front venture into an ice cream and business marvel by making social responsibility and creative management strengths, rather than weaknesses. Jerry shared funny stories of getting started and wisdom about why he thinks his venture became a success.  One attendee raved, “Jerry Greenfield has got to be my favorite speaker of any conference I’ve attended.” We then had the distinct pleasure of inducting him as a Golden Key Honorary Member—and if you were at the conference you would know this was a real treat for Jerry!

Then dinner was served and attendees were entertained by an awesome performance by a local a capella group called The Eight Tracks. After dinner, there were just a few more things to wrap up.  Key Chapter recipients were presented with special plaques, our raffle winners from the day before were announced and the Spirit Cup winner was announced—congratulations to U.S. Region 3!

Before we officially closed the Summit, we revealed the location of the next GK International Summit: Gold Coast, Australia!  The announcement was a great way to end such an amazing event.  GK members, see you on the Gold Coast in 2015! Golden Key would like to thank everyone that attended and helped out at the 2014 International Summit!

View our photos from the conference here:


Congratulations - Tariro Anifasi: Winner: Undergraduate Achievement Award US$5,000

Personal Quote:

“The core of who I am lies in my grandparents – on both sides of the yardstick. I am the granddaughter of a chef, an accountant in a politician, a housewife and a peasant farmer. All four of them understood that no man lives in isolation and years after they passed on, I am grateful that Golden Key has created the same platform for me: to transcend the I-prism into a plural world that seizes to be an abyss. In receiving this award I continuously grow not only academically, but in line with who I am - a servant leader”.

Personal Statement:

Tariro.jpgWhen they still walked the earth, my grandparents touched countless lives: the homeless, their different societies, their children and grand children. Despite being born in Harare (Zimbabwe) and bred in Kwekwe (Zimbabwe), I still found time to visit them and feed on the myriads of enriching “soul nuggets”. I look at my own life and I see a projection of my maternal grandfather, not so much on the path of a politician, but in aspiring to be a lawyer. In 2011 I became a member of Golden Key International Society. I can count a number of occasions during the course of my law degree when I found myself dead beat and conjuring every last shred of perseverance I could master. Four years into my degree I know my grandparents can look into my life and be proud of whom I have become as a whole.

 In 2011 during one of our Law Students Society SOS children’s village beach day excursions, I realised the world goes beyond the confines of my daily academic life. The year after my induction into Golden Key, I served on the NMMU Chapter committee as the Alumni Member Liaison Officer for 2012 and the Vice President for 2013. In a bid to hone my public speaking skills, I joined Toastmasters International NMMU Chapter and served on the committee as Vice President in 2012 and Sergeant At Arms in 2013. Between 2011 and 2013 I found a second family in my extra-curricular activities: Beyond the Classroom Leadership Programme, Amnesty International, International Students Association, Zimbabwe Students Association, Judo etc.

During the first quarter of the year the Staff and students at the Faculty of Law launched the SAVE (Society Against Violence Everywhere) campaign to protest the uncontrolled violence in the South African society. We collaborated with other campus societies and carried out a few activities in the fight against xenophobia, violence, rape and murder amongst other evils prevalent in the country. In April 2013, the NMMU Golden Key flag event - The Pledge- began. The Pledge, drawn up by men to men, calls on all men to take a stand against the prevalence of violence against women. It urges men to examine themselves and take responsibility and be at the forefront of curbing incidents of violence in our society. A thousand signatures (and counting) and 17metres down the scroll, The Pledge found its way to the Golden Key South African Regional Summit in Cape Town to reach out to the nation on a larger scale.

On the 20th of September 2013, a colleague and I presented a workshop at the Golden Key South African Regional Summit on “Intercultural Competence and its significance in the globalized world”. It was an overwhelming experience to meet and network with various people, each with a story to tell, each with a cause to live for. Through reaching out to the children of Sinethemba, donating books for Walmer High School, tutoring Walmer High School students and being an NMMU Disability Unit volunteer, I have felt the warmth of my grandparents hands on my shoulders encouraging me to go over and above my own needs, but above all, there is a resounding gong in my soul that has tatted the words of the 14th Dalai Lama in my heart,

“Every day, think as you wake up, today I am fortunate to be alive, I have a precious human life, I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others; to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can.”

Having said all this, I look forward to completing my law degree so as to use it not for myself, but to develop the standards of cyber law protection in my country to enable better trading standards as envisaged by the EU Directive on data protection and privacy in this ever changing digital age.

Golden Key wishes Tariro all the best with her future endeavours.

Congratulations - Mignon du Preez: Winner: Undergraduate Achievement Award US$5,000

CONGRATULATIONS - Mignon du Preez!

This is Mignon's Personal Statement:

Mingon du Preez.jpgMy name is Mingon du Preez.  I am currently a second year BA Degree Psychology student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. Academically, my training to qualify as a Registered Counsellor, begins in 2014. After attaining this qualification, I aim to complete my Masters Degree in Clinical Psychology.

The inspiration that motivates me to strive for perfection, is drawn from the poem by Jim Rohn, titled “The Two Choices We Face”. 

To quote: , “Each of us has two distinct choices to make, about what we will do with our lives. The first choice we can make is to be less than we have the capacity to be. To earn less. To have less. To read less, and think less. To try less, and discipline ourselves less. These are the choices that lead to an empty life.


And the second choice? To do it all! To become all that we can possibly be. To read every book that we possibly can. To earn as much as we possibly can. To give and share as much as we possibly can. To strive, and produce, and accomplish as much as we possibly can. All of us have the choice.”

I have chosen the second option.  I choose to enthusiastically embrace every opportunity I get, to diligently and wisely use the talents I have been blessed with, to the best of my ability, and strive to ensure tangible, practical, meaningful benefits and advantages, to all individuals I encounter. I aim, I plan, I accomplish, I conquer.

Receiving the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship is an immense honour for me.  It has proven that hard work pays off, and is a motivation to do much more, in the future.  It is rewarding to know that Golden Key acknowledges students who excel academically, have leadership qualities, and who willingly perform community service. Receiving this award will encourage me to inspire others to strive to do more, and serve as evidence that every small deed done, can ultimately accumulate into something exceptionally rewarding. I believe Golden Key is an amazing platform that encourages students to do more, to develop leadership skills, to perform well academically, and to give back to the community.  Golden Key makes the process of working hard so much more rewarding, because there is always a bigger picture, and ultimate prize, to focus on.

  • My affiliation with other membership organisations and awards include:
  • ·        Being a member of Golden Key Society
  • ·        Being a member, and Secretary of the local affiliation, of the Roteract Society
  • ·        Member of Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Student Alumni Society
  • ·        Member of the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University Psychology Society
  • ·        Member : Beyond the Classroom (Leadership Skills Development Program)
  • ·        Member : Backpack to Briefcase (Introduction and Exposure to Corporate Business Environment Program)
  • ·        Community Outreach with African Unity Foundation
  • ·        Academic Achievement Honour Colours in school                  
  • ·        Scholastically positioned in the Top 20 Academic Achievers for 3 consecutive years
  • ·        Scholar Merit Award
  • ·        Matriculated with six subject distinctions

  We wish her all the best with her future endeavours!

Thierry Y. Fonkui - 2013 Research Grant Award Winner - US$1,000

Congratulations to Thierry from the University of Johannesburg!

"It is with honour that I introduce myself in writing to express my gratutide after being selected the winner of Research Grant Award, Spring selection. I was very happy to learn that I was a recipient. Thank you for your generosity and I appreciate your confidence in me and willigness to contribute to my future education.

I am a Biotechnologist major with an emphasis on biochemical planning to furthermore with my studies within the field of nanotechnology in contiuation with the current master's project I enrolled for at the University of Johannesburg. I am so glad to know that my education is important to you. This generous offer has limited my financial burden and gave me an opportunity to avail more myself in academic with hope to inspire other students to achieve their goals and make their place a better place to be. In addition, I can not forget to mention that this precious gift represents the first outside funding I have ever received. I see it in encouragements a driving force of opportunities for a fruitful tomorrow."


Muhammed Bilaal Ismail - Spring 2013 Graduate Scholar Award Winner: US$10,000

Congratulations to Bilaal! Well done and keep it up!

"I am wholeheartedly grateful to be a recipient of the Spring Golden Key 2013 Graduate Scholar Award. I believe that this award is acknowledgement of my sincerest effort in the areas of academia, leadership and service. This acknowledgement is tangible in that it relieves the debt of my previous studies in chemistry and will lift the financial burden of my PhD study in medicinal inorganic chemistry. It also illustrates great acclaim to the university, UKZN, as well as myself. The Graduate Scholar Award not only provides me a platform to become an excellent researcher, but also me to continue service work in my hometown (Pietermaritzburg, South Africa) as the university of KwaZulu-Natal Golden Key Chapter President.

I have been noted for academic excellence in the past, with numerous merit certificates and a few medals - This includes recognition for highest module marks and the best chemistry average at an Honours level. However, it is with great pleasure that I accept an award which understands the holistic dimension of researchers who do in fact, extend beyond the laboratory. The service work that my colleagues and I have provided orphanages, old age homes, soup kitchens and underprivilege children under the Golden Key banner, has been nothing short of inspiring.

It has been a real privilege to say the least. The on-campus events for fellow members have also been fun, interactive and stimulating. I have always been grateful to Golden Key for providing me with a means and a voice in service work. Now, I will forever be grateful to them for providing me with a leap towards my future."


Sendibitiyosi Gandidzanwa - Spring 2013 Undergraduate Achievement Award Winner - US$5,000

Sendi pic.jpgCongratulations, Sendi from NMMU!

Winning this scholarship means a lot, it is not just an achievement award but it is a call to start achieving the unachievable. As a proud Golden Key member, and an executive member for my chapter, I would like to say the award means a lot and goes a long way. It means I have had the golden key in my hands and will continue using it to unleash all the potential within me and unlock all the possible opportunities that will come in future. I would like to thank the Golden Key Board of Directors, the volunteer leadership and the Headquarters staff for awarding me this scholarship and God for allowing me to be living the three pillars of Golden Key. I will use this scholarship to further my postgraduate studies.

I am currently a final year, (3rd year), student at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), studying Bachelor of Science in Biochemistry, Chemistry and Microbiology, with my main majors being Biochemistry and Chemistry.

I was born and bred in the small town called Chegutu, my hometown and was mainly buttered in Mhondoro, my rural area, both of which are in the beautiful lands of Zimbabwe.

I am also affiliated to many other different organisations

Ø  I am the Executive Golden Key Leadership Officer, NMMU Chapter (2012/2013 term);

Ø  NMMU Student Representative Council (SRC) Faculty of Science Representative (2012/2013 term) and the Deputy Chair of the NMMU Student Academic Forum (2013);

Ø  International Student Association (ISA) Secretary General (2012/2013 term);

Ø  Founder and Advisor of Chemistry Society (CHEMSOC) (2013);

Ø  SANLAM Foundation Team Leader (2013)

Ø  Student Counselling and Career Development Centre (SCCDC) Peer Helper (2012&2013);

Ø  SCCDC How2 Buddy Orientation Leader and co-trainer (2012&2013);

Ø  Supplemental Instruction Leader (2013) for Chemistry Second year students;

Ø  Graduate of the Beyond the Classroom Leadership Program (BtC) (2012);

Ø  Student Alumni Society (SAS) Subcommittee Secretary;

Ø  Former  Zimbabwean Student Society (ZIMSOC) Public Relation Officer (2011-2012 term);

Ø  Former Science Society public relation officer (2011-2012 term);

Ø  Member of the; Green Campus Initiative Society, Seventh Day Adventist Student Movement Society, Democratic Alliance Student Organisation Society, Peer Helper Society and Biotech Society. All membership from end of 2011.

My experience with Golden Key is just awesome. I have organised team building sessions, been involved in a lot of tutoring sessions, fundraising projects, all Golden Key Campus and off-campus activities, GK Birthday celebrations, Food for thought talks, GK marketing events, charity drives, anti-violence campaigns and everything that our Chapter has done during the 2012-2013 year. My experience with Golden Key is indescribable. It’s full of selfless leadership, offering service to others and exceptional academic excellence.


Ø  Beyond the Classroom A little Involvement Changes Everything (ALICE) award recipient (2013)

Ø  NMMU academic merit award 2012 and 2013

Ø  Golden Key New Member Ceremony Chapter award winner (2012)

Ø  Best student in Mathematics, Chemistry and Biology (L6 and U6, Mhondoro 2007-2008)

Ø  Second Best student for final ZIMSEC Exams (2006, Chegutu)

Ø  Best student in Principles of Accounting and Shona (2006, Chegutu)

Ø  Best student in Mathematics, English Language and Geography and overall best student (2004, Mhondoro)

Ø  Best overall student (2000, Chegutu)


Volunteer Work:

Ø  2013  SRC Sakhi’ngomso (Building the future) Campaign.

Ø  2012-date Cheshire Home Volunteer.

Ø  2012 Eastern Province Children’s Home Tutor. 

Ø  2012 Nelson Mandela Day Golden Key Volunteer.

Ø  2012 Office for International Education (OIE) Friends Forever y week.

Ø  2012 NMMU Office for International Education How2 Buddy.

Ø  2012 Jul Sapphire Primary School Holiday Club Program Volunteer.

Ø  2012 Jun NMMU Science Discovery Week.

Ø  2012 Co-Curricular Record (CCR) testing..

Ø  2012-date Golden Key Walmer High School Tutoring. 

Ø  2012 Peer Helpers Car Wash Fundraising.  

Ø  2011 Kwazakhele High School Tutoring.

Gerald Chikosi - Graduate Scholar Award Winner - US$10,000

Gerald Chikosi.jpgGolden Key recognises excellence - Congratulations, Gerald!!

"Winning this award is a ‘dream come true’ for me. I thank God for inundating me with His unmerited favours and grace.  I was looking forward to this day and I’m so glad that it finally came. I spoke a lot about it to both members and prospective members but I could not bear witness to it but now I can do both.

I acquired a scholarship to study towards a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering (Mechatronics) at NMMU and not having heard of this university before, I was not keen on accepting the offer. However after some extensive research, of which Golden Key was one of the main attractions, I accepted the offer.

Golden Key became part of my university life. Since I became aware of this organisation, I was determined to become part of it. This propelled my academic excellence, though with a lot of mental gymnastics and after producing a few marking schemes for my lecturers, I was inducted into the society in 2009. I was not only satisfied with joining the society but wanted to be the driving force behind its activities. I was then appointed the chapter’s Alumni and Honorary Member Liaison Officer for 2009 – 2010.  My ambitious nature got the best of me and I became the deputy president for 2010 – 2011. During this term of office I had the privilege to represent the chapter at the Golden Key International Summit in Scottsdale Arizona. In 2011, I was elected to be the president of the chapter which position I held until June the 1st 2012.  My success story was plumed when I was elected to be the GK council of student member representative (CoSM) for South Africa which qualified me for a trip to Atlanta Georgia for the 2012 International Summit. I have been actively involved with Golden Key for the past five years and I hope to even take it to greater heights. I am currently enrolled for my Master’s degree in Engineering (Mechatronics) which I hope to complete by the end of the year.

To all current and prospective members; It all started from a decision not to just join Golden Key for a certificate or line on my resume but to get involved and this is where golden key has taken me. It’s your call; you make the move; the ball is now in your court. You have to be different; it’s only a dead fish that flows with the current. So it’s time you STAND OUT. If you don’t stand for something you will fall for anything; so, it’s time you STAND UP. Team, together each achieves more, it’s time we STAND TOGETHER. Remember; GOLDEN KEY IS WHAT YOU MAKE IT."      

 We wish Gerald all the best with his future endeavours!

Gerald News Items.jpgGerald Award NMMU.jpg


Jan-Willem Steeb - Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Winner - US$5,000

jwsteeb.jpg Congratulations, Jan-Willem!


Quote on what the award means to me:


“What a great privilege and honour it is to receive the Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship. The scholarship will not only help me in furthering my studies, but will also enable me to help others. I plan to introduce some disadvantaged school children to the wonder of electronics by providing them with a basic electronics kit and introductory instruction. In this way I would like to show my appreciation for the opportunity that the Golden Key International Honour Society has afforded me.”




 Undergraduate Degree:

Bachelor of Science in Engineering (Electrical) - Information Engineering Option (Third year)


 Membership organizations:

Ø Student member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

Ø  Member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. I serve as 1st  Councillor in the Stake Sunday School Presidency (I assist in training and coordinating the Church Sunday School Curriculum for 8 congregations.)


 Academic Awards won:


Ø  University Council Merit Scholarship (2013).

Ø Member of the winning team for the National CHPC Student Cluster Competition (2012).

Ø Jackson Prize to the best 2nd  year student in the Faculty of Engineering and the Built Environment.  (2012).

Ø CBI-electric Prize to the best 2nd  year student in the School of Electrical & Information Engineering. (2012).

Ø Dean’s List (2012).

Ø University Council Merit Scholarship (2012).

Ø Actom Prize to the best 1st Year Student in the School of Electrical & Information Engineering (2011).

Ø Dean’s List (2011).

Ø  The Entelect Best Science Fiction Short Story: 1st Prize (2011).

Ø  University Entrance Scholarship (2011).

Ø  Top Matriculant in District (2008).

Alumni Spotlight on Amanda Wilson: Adventures in South Africa


In what can only be described as a whirlwind adventure, American Public University alumna, university staff member, and Golden Key Chapter Advisor Amanda Wilson recently travelled with two university student officers to Cape Town, South Africa to present at the Golden Key South African Summit 2013. Amanda was selected as an international delegate and presenter, motivating and encouraging Golden Key members from across the globe to break down physical boundaries and to connect in service and leadership excellence.

“Africa was brilliant—absolutely breath-taking,” Amanda says of the seven-day excursion. Her tale includes a safari, a wildlife preservation, picturesque rocky mountains, baboons, biltong – a variety of cured meat, penguin beaches, monumental waves crashing on The Cape of Good Hope, and a people passionate about human rights, education, the environment, and the overall state of Africa.

“I left for Africa a little nervous about the potential dangers lurking in the bush,” said Amanda, using a phrase to describe Africa. “The street crime, the poverty, all the barbed wire, baboons, cobras, yellow fever, malaria, the water and ice, it was intimidating to think about! I really just didn’t know what to expect!”

Luckily, her spirit of adventure kicked in upon arrival, turning it into the trip of a lifetime!

Amanda summarizes the trip – and her favorite moment – with this story from the summit itself:

I was attending a presentation about social change. After just having toured the country-side, driving through the townships and experiencing the magic of South African culture, I sat watching the future leaders (i.e., the top 15% of students in the country) devise plans to enact change that included integrating service into their communities to make a difference; teaching people to advocate for the value of education; and brainstorming ways to utilize their natural resources in a responsible and efficient way as a country. The passion of the presenters, the activity in the audience, and the overall synergy of everyone at the Golden Key conference was absolutely beautiful and inspiring! They believe, like Nelson Mandela said, that education could change the world, and that’s what was happening, right before my very eyes.

Amanda’s tale weaves together playfulness and depth, steering in the direction of hope. From giraffes to art and “Beware of Cobra” signs to humanity, the ambiance and spirit of South Africa have clearly made a significant impact on Amanda, who has a newfound ambition to explore environmental studies.

Amanda graduated in November 2012 with her M.B.A. She is currently working in The Office of Student and Alumni Affairs to develop and expand leadership and engagement opportunities for students and alumni at a distance. Amanda, a 2012 nominee for The James P. Etter Creativity and Innovation Award, is passionate about and vested in the concept of community—striving to create co-curricular opportunities for university members to unite from all corners of the globe.

Explore South Africa with Amanda on the slideshow below, and join us in congratulating the AMU and APU Chapter of Golden Key for their participation and presence at the South African Summit!

A trip.jpg

Congratulations - Yvonne Gardner: 2012 Golden Key Community Service Award Winner - US$1,000.00

Congratulations to Yvonne Gardner - Winner of the 2012 Golden Key Community Service Award - US$1,000.00.

Yvonne Gardner 1.jpg"It is a great honour to be selected as the recipient of the 2012 Golden Key Community Service Award. A heartfelt THANK YOU to Golden Key for their acknowledgement of the work I have done, and for the generous prize money. This will help me immensely in successfully completing my Master’s Degree in Clinical Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town. As a Clinical Neuropsychologist, I hope to make a difference in the lives of the many children and adults in South Africa who suffer from neuropsychological deficits, but who have little or no access to professional assessment and rehabilitation. I intend to use my knowledge and skills to further much needed research and clinical work in the field of Clinical Neuropsychology in my country.

Congratulations: Fritz Agbor - Winner 2012 Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement - US$5,000.00

Congratulations to Fritz Agbor - Winner of the 2012 Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement - US$5,000.00

Fritz is 24 years old, from the city of Kumba, in meme division of the south west province, in the Republic of Cameroon. His personal statement reads:
      “I am enormously thrilled and exceedingly beholden for such recognition, from the Golden Key Board of Directors, to have been chosen as a winner of the Golden key undergraduate achievement Award 2013. 
Winning this award, not only assists me monetarily in trailing my goals, but fortifies me to continue working hard.  It has poise me to stay succeeding whilst learning, in optimisms of someday benevolently giving back to our universal community in a meaningful way. It is one of the climaxes of my academic career and inspires me to take aim in reaching new heights, a touch I hope to endure for as long as God permits me to live.
       I’d like to express gratitude to the Golden Key board of directors, the volunteer leadership and headquarters staff for distinguishing my academic achievements. I also would like to applaud the committee for reaching out and extending their support to scholars who intend to use their education, in a way that is fashionably benefiting our society at large (especially those with underprivileged backgrounds as myself).

I intend to use the prize money towards funding the continuation of my postgraduate tutelage (BSc (Hons.)) in Applied Geology (majoring in Petroleum Geology), empowering myself to study in conjunction to volunteering with supplementary organizations in future”. 

This scholarship will aid in the funding of my studies headed for a BSc. Hons applied geology degree, a continuation of my major at undergrad level, at the University of the Western Cape.

My commitment to associations, has earned me an extensive knowledge through career development programs and research studies. Some of such achievements acquired during the period of my undergraduate studies includes but are not limited to the following:

  • Ø  Member of the Golden key Award Honour Society (2010).
  • Ø  Member of the Golden key Honorary Sub-committee UWC chapter (2012).
  • Ø  Member of the American Society of Petroleum Geologist (AAPG) (2011/2012).
  • Ø  Member of the emerging entrepreneurs program (UWC) (2010).
  • Ø  Deputy Secretary of Cameroonian students in the Western Cape (CAMSAWC) (2010, 2011/2012).
  • Ø  Holder of the Dean’s Merit Award (2011).
  • Ø  Emotional intelligence certificate award (2012).
  • Ø  International Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE) star Scholarship award (2012)
  • Ø  Treasurer of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (SPE), Southern African student Chapter (2011, 2012/2013).
  • Ø  Tutor at the physics department (UWC) (2010 – 2012).
  • Ø  Tutor & Mentor at Peer mentoring program (PMP) UWC (2012).
  • Ø  Volunteer of the Habitat for Humanity South Africa (HFHSA).
  • Ø  Volunteer for Mission For evangelical Service (MES) Cape Town.
  • Ø  Volunteer of the Bellville Presbyterian Church (BPC).

So far, my experiences with Golden key; though not extensive, have been exciting and full of memories. It has been constantly full of amazements from when I was inducted as a member, to becoming a sub-committee member and volunteering during awareness events on campus, to attending other membership induction ceremonies and now becoming a scholarship award winner. My journey so far has been magnificent. I would like to end by thanking you once more for giving me this wonderful opportunity to escalate my academic career to the next level. I truly appreciate this and may God continue to bless you all as you strife to restore the hope all beneficiaries are in quest of. 

Congratulations: George Chimowa - 2012 Golden Key Research Grant Winner US$1,000.00

Congratulations to George Chimowa for being named the winner of the 2012 Golden Key Research Grant valued at US$1,000.00

Personal statement of George Chimowa:

George Chimowa.jpgMy name is George Chimowa a PhD student in physics at the University of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, South Africa. I am a Zimbabwean national but currently residing in South Africa. I am very grateful to the Golden key honours society for awarding me this research grant, the funds will go a long way in supplementing my travel expenses to any international conference where I will be able to share, learn and interact with other researchers in the field of nanotechnology. Winning this award means a lot as it motivates and inspires me to work even harder in my research knowing that there are people out there who appreciate and support our efforts and dreams. My current research project is probing the response of carbon based nano-materials to high frequency signals in the GHz range. Prior to that I graduated from the same University with a distinction for my MSc degree and was awarded bursaries by the DST- NRF, Centre of Excellence in strong materials and the University Postgraduate Merit award to further my research work.   My experience with the Golden key has so far only been at local chapter level and it has been an enlightening, fun and humbling experience. The meetings we sometimes have with some influential people in our society challenges us and give you a sense of: I should always strive to make difference in other people’s lives because with that comes great satisfaction.


Congratulations: Julia Boonzaier - Golden Key Study Abroad Scholarship Winner - US$1,000

Congratulations to Julia Boonzaier - Winner of the Golden Key Study Abroad Scholarship - US$1,000

Julia Boonzaier.jpg

Here is Julia's personal statement:

Thank you very much for awarding me the Fall 2012 Study Abroad Scholarship. This is truly an honor and an amazing opportunity. Winning this award is definitely one of the highlights of my academic career and it inspires me to keep aiming high to reach my goals. I am currently an international student at the University of Antwerpen (Belgium) doing a Master’s degree in Neuroscience, majoring in preclinical and clinical neuroscience.  I started my academic career in Cape Town, South Africa, at the University of Stellenbosch where I majored in biomedical sciences with the focus on anatomy and histology. I intend to use the prize money towards the continuation of my postgraduate education.

It is an honor for me to be a member of the Golden Key Society. I am humbled by this scholarship, and above all, thankful to all the people who contributed to my success by inspiring, encouraging and supporting me to reach my full potential.

Dr Derek Swemmer: Elected Chairman of Golden Key Board of Directors

Derek K Swemmer has a BA, BA Hons and an MA from the University of Pretoria and a D Litt et Phil from Unisa.  He completed his Teaching diploma (TTHD) at JCE.  He taught English at Christ's Hospital, a famous public school in England, for 1 year before spending 5 years on the academic staff of each of the departments of English at the University of Pretoria and Unisa.  His administrative career at the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits) commenced in 1985.  He progressed through various positions and became the Registrar in 1995 and part of the executive team.  He retired on 30 September after 25 years of service to Wits.  On 1 October 2010 he took office in the executive team as the Registrar of the University of the Free State.

Since 2006 he has been commissioned to serve on 4 government task groups, 2 higher education national working groups, 2 university Quality Assurance Audit panels, and is currently on the expert group working on the creation of 2 new public universities in South Africa.  He has run strategic planning workshops for Botho College and the Botswana Association of Private Tertiary Education Providers.    

He was a Council member and Honorary Secretary of the English Academy of Southern Africa for 7 years.  He is the editor or co-author and co-editor of over 20 books and training manuals.  One of these is co-authored, The New Wordpower: the South African Handbook of Grammar, Style and Usage, a tertiary level reference work that was published first in 1989 (reprinted 5 times), then published as a new edition in 1996 (and reprinted 7 times to date). 

As a parent, he served for 10 years on the Governing Bodies of both Bryneven Primary School and Bryanston High School, chairing both of them, and served for 5 years on the Johannesburg North School Board.

In 1997 he helped found the International Education Association of South Africa and was its Honorary Treasurer until 2010.  He played a cardinal role in creating the SA public universities’ Registrars Imbizo (forum).  He served as a volunteer in the Scout Association for 45 years and in 2011 completed 9 years on the national Finance Committee of SA’s Girl Guide Association.

He has run over 200 strategic planning, leadership and cultural sensitivity courses for many organizations.

As Chapter Adviser of the Wits Golden Key International Honour Society Chapter from 2001 to 2010, he was recognized as the South African Adviser of the year in 2006 and again in 2008.  He was appointed to the Atlanta-based Board of Directors of Golden Key in 2006 and is currently serving a second three-year term.  He was elected as Chairman of the Golden Key Board of Directors took office on 30 July 2012. In 2009, he was awarded the International Leadership Council President’s Award which recognizes one individual’s contribution to Golden Key world-wide. 

He has been a public guest speaker over the past 30 years at over 100 events in South Africa and internationally.

Gerald Chikosi - South Africa CoSM Representative


Congratulations to NMMU Golden Key member, Chapter President of the NMMU Chapter 2011/2012 and elected as Council of Student Member Representative to serve on an international level for Golden Key. We wish you all the best with your term as CoSM!


Born and bred in the land locked country between the Zambezi and Limpopo rivers, Zimbabwe is Gerald Chikosi. He is the fourth born in a family of three brothers and one sister.

Golden Key (GK) has been Gerald’s university life. He became aware of this organisation prior to his studies whilst reading through NMMU’s prospectus. Since then, Gerald was determined to become part of this organisation. This propelled his academic excellence and in 2009 he was inducted into the society. Not only was he satisfied with joining the society but wanted to be the driving force behind its activities. Gerald was then appointed the chapter’s Alumni and Honorary Member Liaison Officer for 2009 – 2010.  His ambitious nature got the best of him and he became the deputy president for 2010 – 2011. During this term of office he had the privilege to represent the chapter at the Golden Key International Summit in Arizona. In 2011, he was elected to be the president of the chapter which position he held until June the 1st 2012.  His success story was plumed when he was elected to be the GK council of student member representative (CoSM) for South Africa. Gerald has been actively involved with Golden Key and he hopes to even take it to greater heights. He is currently enrolled for his Masters degree in Engineering (Mechatronics) which he hopes to complete by the end of the year.

“Power with character is fit to rule”, therefore throughout all these highlights, Gerald was in pursuit of character, without which all this would have come to naught. His successes sorely rest on his morally sound upbringing which he assiduously tries to maintain.

Congratulations: Mark Burke 2011 Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship Winner US$5,000

Quote on what award means to me:

“After four years of hard work, excitement, joy and at times tears of frustration, I can now look back at my BA and B.Sc. studies with contentment. The GK undergraduate achievement has allowed me to finish of a significant chapter of my life story with a sense of accomplishment. Big thanks to Golden Key Leadership for the continuous opportunities they offer.”



Undergraduate Majors:
I completed two degrees – a BA in Language Technology and a B.Sc (Hons) in Computer Science – Cum Laude.

I am from a small town in the Free State province of South Africa, called Kroonstad.

Membership organizations:
Student member of The Royal Society of Southern Africa

Academic Awards won:

Ø  Awarded the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship
Ø  National Finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship to Oxford
Ø  Selected as one of South Africa’s 100 Brightest Young Minds
Ø  Invited to become a Golden Key International Honour Society member
Ø  Selected as a recipient of the 2011 Golden Key “Pillars of Excellence” award
Ø  Awarded a Multilingual Speech Technologies Research Group bursary
Ø  One of two students to receive the cText bursary for academic achievements
Ø  Faculty Award for best fourth year Language Technology project
Ø  Received Academic Council Honourary colours for B.Sc Hons Degree
Ø  Awarded an European Commission Scholarship for exchange Masters study in Belgium from December to June 2013

Golden Key Involvement:

Ø  Served as Vice-President of the Potchefstroom Chapter of Golden Key 2010/2011.
Ø  Attended the Pretoria 2010 and Bloemfontein 2011 Golden Key national conferences.
Ø  Served in the chapter community outreach program
Ø  Attended the CANSA campaign in 2011 as Golden Key executive representative (The Cancer association of South Africa)

GK SA CoSM - Jason du Plessis: News from Germany

I never thought that joining Golden Key in 2009, that I would meet and work with incredible leaders and provide me with opportunities to travel and see the world! I was fortunate enough to serve the local Stellenbosch Chapter for two consecutive years (2009-2011). In my reign as Chapter President in 2011, I lead my team to successfully implement and develop various networking, community and literacy projects that benefited the larger Stellenbosch community as well as students of the university. In this term, the Stellenbosch Chapter reached a 67% member acceptance rate, making this the most successful term the Chapter experienced thus far. I ‘m currently serving as the South African representative on the Council of Student Members (CoSM). I was also privileged to attend both the National Conference in Bloemfontein (2011) and International Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona (2010).

As any young graduate, I feared that after four years of hard work and sacrifice to obtain my Hons. Bcomm (Logistic Management) degree, I would enter the employment market without any possibilities especially knowing my country’s current economic climate and high unemployment rate. Even though I had the necessary qualifications and leadership qualities to be a top performing employee, I still required the skills and training that most companies search for when appointing new employees. Keeping these thoughts in mind, I started my search for any vacancies and graduate programs in my field of study. On this search, I came across an internship abroad named Students Experience Programme (STEP).

SAFRI (Southern Africa Initiative of German Business) in association with Mercedes-Benz South Africa offers six-month internships at Daimler and other companies in Germany. Throughout this internship at Daimler AG, participants will gain invaluable practical on-the-job work experience and skills. This international experience is accompanied by a cultural programme and business training. German language training before and during the internship is also an integral part of the programme. The STEP 2012 participants were selected from a large number of applicants. All applications are invited from high calibre students and recent graduates from Southern African Developing Community (SADC) countries.

Daimler AG together with Mercedes-Benz South Africa created the Students Experience Programme (STEP) in 2005 in response to the great demand in Southern Africa for practical training as well as the need for young Southern African talent in German businesses that are active in the region. This programme prepares the participants for the challenges awaiting them on the employment market and creates the basis for robust business relations in Southern Africa. It also helps German business identify and train highly qualified local employees for their future business activities in the region.

It’s been nearly 2 months that I’ve been living and working in Germany and I’ve seen and experience what Germany and the Logistics industry has to offer. My colleagues’ work standard and ethics is astounding. Their dedication to excellence through partnership is exemplified by their focus on quality and efficiency.  The rich history of this beautiful country and its people truly exceeded my expectations. Soon, I will be returning back to South Africa to implement the knowledge and skills I have acquired over the duration of this internship.

Most GK members tend to believe that the benefits of joining this prestigious society are limited to their duration of their studies. GK offers a LIFE TIME membership! Not only did my direct involvement with the local Stellenbosch Chapter and international Student Council equip me with the necessary leadership skills and experience, but if also provided me with possibilities to pursue the career I desired, in my home country or abroad. By capitalizing on these opportunities and benefits, I will be able grow and develop within the employment market as a proud GK South African Alumni giving back to my local community and being a role model for those I  get in contact with. I will forever treasure the precious memories and incredible friends I have made, but most of all I will always remember the genuine kindness and humility this Society has shown towards me.

GK SA Members Winners of Various GK International Scholarships & Awards

Golden Key South Africa is proud to announce that we have the talent to bring Golden Key Scholarships & Awards home. The following Golden Key members won these awards:

Stephan Gericke: Golden Key Scholarship, US $1,000 award
University of Pretoria
Personal Statement: "I am Stephan Gericke and a grateful recipient of the 2011 Study Abroad Golden Key Award. I am from Pretoria, South Africa, but I am currently residing in the United Kingdom. Golden Key has contributed to my acceptance as an MPhil student at the University of Cambridge. At the Cambridge’s centre for music and science I am pursuing an education in a specialised and novel field of research which is not widely taught at tertiary institutions in the world, namely the interdisciplinary field of music cognition and perception. I am doing research in the perception of the immediate intelligibility of vocal auditory stimuli and timbre – research which I wish to pursue further on a PhD level. Furthermore, it has always been my dream to study abroad, especially at an institution as world-renowned as Cambridge." View video clip here.

Simonae Kotze:  Golden Key Undergraduate Achievement Scholarship,  US $5,000 award
North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
Personal Statement: "I received the Golden Key Chapter Award in 2011 which was a great reward for all my hard work. Academics have always been my strongest point and I have achieved many outstanding awards, but the one that stands out for me is the Golden Key Chapter Award that I received last year. It felt like a reward for all my hard work. It is a great honour for me to say with confidence that I am a member of Golden Key. A society of truth and dedicated to helping its members realize their full potential not just in academics but through service as well. At the end of my undergraduate studies I would acquire a BSc degree in Human Movement Science and Physiology."

Ryan Meintjes:  Golden Key Graduate Scholar Award, US $10,000 award
North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
Personal Statement - To follow shortly

Congratulations - Stephan Gericke: Winner of Study Abroad Bursary US$1,000

We want to extend a congratulations to Stephan Gericke - Winner of the Golden Key Study Abroad Bursary valued at US$1,000. Stephan has been involved in Golden Key for more than five years and as an Alumni member he has excelled in all aspects of his life.
This is what Stephan Gericke had to say:

"I am Stephan Gericke and a grateful recipient of the 2011 Study Abroad Golden Key Award. I am from Pretoria, South Africa, but I am currently residing in the United Kingdom. Golden Key has contributed to my acceptance as an MPhil student at the University of Cambridge. At the Cambridge’s centre for music and science I am pursuing an education in a specialised and novel field of research which is not widely taught at tertiary institutions in the world, namely the interdisciplinary field of music cognition and perception. I am doing research in the perception of the immediate intelligibility of vocal auditory stimuli and timbre – research which I wish to pursue further on a PhD level. Furthermore, it has always been my dream to study abroad, especially at an institution as world-renowned as Cambridge.

I have been involved in Golden Key for several years. I was a recipient of the Chapter Award at my Golden Key new member ceremony and I soon became a committee member at the University of Pretoria Chapter where I served on various portfolios and as Chapter President in 2008 – 2009. I was fortunate to attend the International conferences and represent our thriving chapter in both New Orleans in 2008, and Orlando in 2009. For the term 2009 – 2010 I was appointed as the South African representative for the CoSM.

Through my involvement with Golden Key I encountered inspirational people (many of whom remain friends), developed leadership, social, business and networking skills, obtained the courage to make a difference, and recognised the value of combining all these diverse skillsets to benefit one’s own career and the community. Most of all, Golden Key showed me that it is individuals with integrity, loyalty, humility and a strong sense of ethics, who transcend preconceived concepts of success in all aspects of life.

I am very, very grateful to the Study Abroad Golden Key Award whose financial support is making this life-changing and career-benefiting opportunity a reality."

We wish Stephan all the best with his studies and future endeavours. He is a true Golden Key ambassador.

Honorary Members 2011

We have had the honour to meet and welcome the following incredible individuals to the Society during the 2011 New Member Ceremonies hosted by our Golden Key Chapters this year.  We once again want to extend a congratulations and welcome to our 2011 Honorary Members:

What Golden Key means to me - Liebe Jeannot (GK Alumni)

On that lovely winter evening in August, I was inspired and knew that I wanted to become involved in this organisation. It was the Golden Key Induction Ceremony and the air was filled with excitement and anticipation.

After the Induction ceremony was over, I approached some of the Committee members and spoke to them about how I could get involved in this society. I was excited…after a year of downtime from serious involvement in an organisation, I was ready to join the committee of the Stellenbosch Chapter and add to it my personal touch.

After one year of serving as the Community Service director, I went on to becoming the Chapter President of the Stellenbosch University Chapter, and also served a short term as the South African member of the Council of Student Members. I was proud to be a part of this international society and served with enthusiasm and dedication!

Golden Key has done so much for me. The thing I most appreciate about my time in service is that it gave me the space to grow my leadership skills. I had the opportunity to lead a team and provided the direction the chapter needed in order to achieve the goals we’d set ourselves. I also had the opportunity to work with some amazing people…from my great chapter team to the advisors…I was fortunate to be surrounded by such hardworking and dedicated individuals. I not only networked with other university leaders, but also had numerous opportunities to network with fellow Golden Key leaders, both locally in South Africa and abroad. Golden Key became my global family and one always had the feeling of being part of a growing and impactful organisation.

Not only does Golden Key give recognition to its members and provide personal development programs, but more importantly it gives back to the community. I was inspired to see a group of people coming together and organising events to benefit people in their communities…from little kiddies at crèches, to school kids and the greater community.

 I am glad to have made Golden Key a part of my life and will always treasure my time spent in service. Quite unexpectedly, I happened to meet my other half thanks to Golden Key too. The Golden Key International Conference of 2007 not only gave me the opportunity to attend amazing workshops and networking events, but it’s the place where I met Cedric! So you see, there are other benefits in addition to the traditional ones you are told about at those Information Table events!

2010 Honorary Members

On each campus around the globe, honorary members are inducted into Golden Key to unite students with university, corporate and community leaders. In addition to their individual accomplishments, these persons are chosen by the students because of their personal interest and support of academic excellence.

We once again congratulate our 2010 Honorary Members for their outstanding achievements as role models to society!

Rhodes University
Mrs Cathy Gush - Center for Social Development
Dr. Margie Maistry -  Center for Social Development
Mr Gcinibandla Mtukela  - Deputy Registrar

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Prof T. Mayekiso - Deputy Vice Chancellor: R & E
Mr Justice Pillay - Chairperson of Council

University of Stellenbosch
Prof Monique Zaahl - Associate Professor of Genetics
Prof Nina Schumann - Professor of Music
Mr. Luis Magalhaes - Lecturer of Music

University of the Western Cape
Prof Renfrew Christie - Dean of Research, UWC
Dr Daniel Jordaan - CEO of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa
Mrs Debra Lamson - International Relations Officer

University of Cape Town
Mr Jonathan Hoffenberg - UCT SHAWCO

Cape Peninsula University of Technology
Mrs Cora Njoli Motale - Executive Director: Dean of Students

University of the Free State
Dr Nthabeleng Rammile - Academic, Entrepreneur, Pastor 

University of Johannesburg
Mr David Fox - Director of the Association of the Physically Disabled
Mr Gavin Julyan - Treasurer of the Association of the Physically Disabled
Prof David Moore - HOD for Development and Anthropology

University of the Witwatersrand
Mrs Lamese Abrahams - Head of WITS Student Development and Leadership Unit
Mr Braimoh Bello - Medical Epidemiologist – Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit
Ms Antoinette Prophy - CEO and Founder of Afrofusion Communications
Ms Lulama Mokhobo - SABC Group Executive: Public Broadcasting Services

North-West University, Potchefstroom campus
Prof HD van Schalkwyk - Rector: North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus
Prof A Lourens - Vice-Rector: Research & Planning: Potchefstroom Campus

Universityof KwaZulu-Natal
Prof Vishanthie Sewpaul - Social Work & Community Development
Mr Maxwell Phiri -  Lecturer (Faculty of Commerce)            
Mrs Nisha Reddi - Social Work
Ms Rowena Bronwen Bernard - Lecturer (Faculty of Law)
Ms Busisiwe Ramabodu - Psychologist:Career Counseling and Student Employment Centre

University of Pretoria
Prof Alex Duffey - Head: UP Arts Research & Van Tilburg Collection
Prof Denver Hendricks - Director: Community Engagement, UP
Mr Deon Herbst - CEO: CE at UP
Mr Robert Moropa - Director: Department of Library Services, UP
Ms Brümilda van Rensburg - Actress

2010 CoSM South African Representative - Liz-Marie Basson

Liz-MarieLiz-Marie Basson was selected to represent South Africa as the Council of Student Member Representative at the 2010 International Summit in Scottsdale, Arizona. She has been actively involved in Golden Key activities since 2007. As the current chapter President at the University of Pretoria, she has the potential to motivate Golden Key student members to excel academically, develop their leadership skills and participate in community engagement activities at a chapter level. We wish Liz-Marie all the best with her duties as CoSM.

2010 Adams & Adams Golden Key Law Bursary Winners Announced

We are proud to announce the two winners of the Adams & Adams Golden Key Law Bursay for 2010. JJ Thiart, University of Stellenbosch, and Madiki Motsumi, Rhodes University, both received a R30 000 Law Bursary sponsored by Adams & Adams.

JJ ThiartJJ said, "This award truly means a great deal to me and will contribute substantially to covering my tuition. It has been hard work studying full time and supporting myself during the laMadiki Motsumi - Photost two years. I would like to thank Golden Key for recognising students for their academic achievements and Adams & Adams for providing law students with this great opportunity."

Madiki shared the following:  "I feel very honoured to have been selected as one of the winners of the Adams & Adams Golden Key Law Bursary! This is a great achievement for me as winning this award shows that the selectors saw that I have potential to become successful in the legal field."

Scholarship Winner - Elme Bekker

Elme Bekker PhotoWe want to congratulate Elme Bekker from the University of Stellenbosch for being named the winner of the 2010 Golden Key International Visual and Performing Arts Achievement Award. Elme said, "The achievement of this award is an honour and a boost of confidence to my emerging career. The decision to be a fashion designer is not without risk and winning this bursary indicates that I am on the right track with my designs and illustrations. I will use this award to buy a designated computer and software compatible to my trade and thereby significantly increase my productivity and the sophistication of my work."

NMMU GK President and Rhodes Scholar

Nozipho Hokonya is President of the NMMU Golden Key Chapter in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, where she has led the chapter in various activities throughout the course of the year. She took the lead with community service, literacy, and member and alumni engagement events. Under Nozipho's leadership the NMMU Chapter has this year recorded record breaking growth by doubling their annual membership.   In March this year, she launched ''Academics Anonymous'' (AA) which is a free tutoring service, which targets first year students living in the residences. Nozipho believes that this initiative will assist the university to realize their vision of making the residences, areas of optimum living and learning. 

She was recently awarded the Mandela Rhodes Scholarship, which is a Scholarship aimed at developing and enhancing leadership capacity in Africa.  She recently had the great honour of meeting former South African President, Mr. Nelson Mandela, who congratulated her and other scholarship recipients on their achievements. Nozipho is passionate about the empowerment of vulnerable groups in particular women and children, and she hopes to one day establish a centre for children in disadvantaged communities, that will focus on educational  and life skills development.


News from the Netherlands from Ansa Brink

Ansa Brink, former Golden Key Chapter President at the University of Pretoria and Student Leader of the Year winner in South Africa in 2008, shared some thoughts on her experiences studying abroad.

"It is a dream come true. I am currently completing a dual master's degree, MCom Econometrics at the University of Pretoria (UP) and MSc Economics at Tilburg University (UVT), Netherlands. Adapting to the lifestyle and spending in Euros did take some time but making new friends, attending new and exciting seminars and the opportunity to meet and interact with people from different cultures from across the world makes more than up for the VERY COLD weather, all the rain and the constant snow. My years at UP, has definitely been filled with great experiences. I’ve learned that the more you put into something the more you get out and if you attempt more, there is no real time for procrastination, which makes any time spent more efficient and effective. My two years on the Executive committee of Golden Key have taught me that anything is possible with motivation, determination and a strong support structure of family and friends and colleagues." 


Council of Student Member (CoSM) South Africa Representative

It is an honour to announce that Stephan Gericke has been appointed as the Council of Student Member (CoSM) South Africa Representative for Golden Key. Stephan has a rich tradition with Golden Key and started when he was inducted as a new member at the University of Pretoria in 2005. He was named New Member Chapter Award winner, served on the UP Chapter Committee since 2007 in several position: Social Director, Chapter President and now CoSM.

We wish him all the best with representing the South African Golden Key members on an international level and we are confident that he’ll excel as always!  CONGRAULATIONS, STEPHAN!

Student Leader of the Year 2009 Award Winner – Ryan Meintjes

Golden Key South Africa is proud to announce Ryan Meintjes as the 2009 Student Leader of the Year.

Ryan is currently a BCom Honours in Economics student and is completing his 4th year LLB Degree. Ryan was also named the 2008 Sasol Golden key Award winner in the Law category. Under his leadership, where he is currently serving his second consecutive year as president at the North-West University chapter they had the most successful membership drive for 2009 and they also represented South Africa at the 2009 International conference at Orlando, Florida by claiming first place for the CitiZenShip Showcase. In his spare time Ryan enjoys participating in debating tournaments at the university.

He also partakes in various Law related outreach programs. He is the founder and chairperson of the Nutrisport Charity Organisation which aims to enhance longevity, healthy living and a well balanced life amongst disadvantaged communities. This organization also has members reaching out in England.  Ryan is an ambitious young man who takes great pride in his work, he is also dedicated and passionate about what he does.  He truly deserves this award.


Golden Key New Honorary Members 2009

Rhodes University:
Ms Joyce D. Sewry  Lecturer: Department of Chemistry

Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University:
Mr Gary Paul- Senior Director: Human Resources, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University'; BA (UWC), Higher Diploma in Education  (UWC); Tech (Technikon SA), MTech  Cum Laude (NMMU)

University of Johannesburg:
Mrs. Labuschagne- Deputy Chief Education Specialist :Inclusion and Special Schools programmes
Dr. Luneta- Senior Lecturer Mathematics Education
University of the Witwatersrand:
Mrs. Helen Fraser- Children's Charity Project
Prof. Mamokgheti Setat- Executive Dean: College of Science, Engineering and Technology UNISA
Mr. Peter Maher- Director: Alumni Relations University of the Witwatersrand
North-West University:
Dr Pieter Kruger- Consultant Psychologist, LPP Consulting, London
Prof Linda Theron- Lecturer in School of Education Sciences (VTC)
University of Stellenbosch:
Ms. Esther Carmickle Ramusi- Community Worker & Business Woman
Rudi Buys- IGUBU leadership & Motivational Speaker
Dr. Wynoma Michaels- IGUBU Leadership & Physicist

University of the Western Cape:

Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu- Chancellor: University of the Western Cape
Prof Lorna Holtman- Director: Postgraduate Office
Prof Christopher Tapscott- Dean: Economic and Management Sciences
Prof Vivienne Bozalek- Director: Teaching and Learning

University of Cape Town:
Judge Dennis Davis- Judge of the High Court of South Africa; Judge President: Competition Appeal Court

Cape Peninsula University of Technology:
Mr Samuel Henkeman- Manager: Transformation
Mrs Nandipha Madadasana- Alumni: CPUT

University of the Free State:
Prof Jonathan Jansen- Vice-Chancellor: University of the Free State
Dr Choice Makhetha- Associate Vice President for Student Affairs & Dean of Students
Prof Ronell Britz- Chairperson for the Centre of Accounting
Dr Sanet du Toit- Lecturer: Occupational Therapy Department
University of KwaZulu-Natal:
Ms Carol Mitchell- Psychology Lecturer, UKZN
Mr Avishkaar Ramdhin- Law Lecturer, UKZN
Mr Sam Abrahams- Chairman of the Victor Daitz Foundation

University of Pretoria:
Prof Robin Crewe- Vice-Principal: Research and Postgrad Studies, UP
Prof Daan Gouws- Professor: Dept of Financial Management, UP
Prof Niek Grové- Registrar, UP
Prof Ramaranka Mogotlane- Vice-Principal, UP
Mr Kennedy Gihana- Attorney
Dr Michael Mol- TV Presenter, CEO: Sportron, MD and Motivational Speaker

Two 2009 Chapter Service Awards to South African Universities

University of Pretoria – US$1000.00

The Golden Key Pretoria chapter has been actively involved in their community for the past 3 years. They believe that through long term investment within a community, change is possible. Their projects aim to uplift and empower less fortunate individuals to create a better future for themselves. The chapter received an award of US$1000 to assist them in continuing with their initiatives. Well done!

University of the Free State – US$1000.00

Congratulations to the University of the Free State Chapter! This chapter’s dedication and commitment to community engagement has had a major impact on the surrounding communities in the Free State area. The chapter received an award of US$1000 to assist them in continuing with their initiatives. Well done and keep up the good work!

2009 Sasol Golden Key Excellence Award Winners

Congratulations to this year’s Sasol Golden Key Excellence Award winners! Each of these winners each receives R10 000 that will contribute to their post-graduate studies in 2010. The judging panel faced a challenging task as there were outstanding candidates. They are well-deserving winners and each one has excellent academic records, remarkable leadership skills and shown thorough community engagement.

The winners per category:

Business Management Information Tech
Nicole Wilson    Gillis du Toit Ashleigh Harisson Daniel de Wet

Health Sciences Natural & Applied Sciences
Jeanette Weideman Candice Harding David Mordechai Favara Tessa Stewart

Visual and Performing Arts International Scholarship Winner 2009

Congratulations to Fabian Saptouw South African Golden Key who was names the Winner for Mixed Media category under the Visual and Performing Arts Scholarship & Award. He is a member since 2005 at the University of Cape Town and we are proud to have such talent within our borders! Fabian comments, "I am very honored to have been chosen as a recipient of a Golden Key - Visual and Performing Arts – Mixed Media Award for 2009. The knowledge that my application was selected from a group of highly qualified applicants inspires me to stay committed to my field of study. I greatly appreciate the funding provided by Golden Key, which I will use to finance the remainder of my Master of Fine Art Degree. I wish to express my deepest gratitude to Golden Key and the selection panel for considering me worthy of this prestigious award."

Fulbright Scholarship Winner:

Janeke Thumbran

We want to congratulate Ms Janeke Thumbran on winning a Fulbright Scholarship where she will be working towards a PhD in Sociology, with a major in race and ethnicity studies at a university in the United States of America in the near future. In the meantime she has won another scholarship to do a Masters degree in Communication at the University of Tilburg in the Netherlands as well.

3 in a Row – CitizenSHIP Showcase Winners

South African Chapters were named the winners of the CitizenSHIP Showcase contest at the International Golden Key Conference 2009.

1st place    North-West University with Community Service and Membership Drive
2nd place   University of Cape Town with Golden Key University of Cape Town 2009 Projects
3rd place    University of Pretoria with Pretoria Service Projects 2009
Thank you to these chapters as well as other chapters who also participated and represented their universities at this international event: University of the Western Cape, University of Johannesburg, the University of Stellenbosch and Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.


The ILC President's Award is Golden Key’s highest individual honor -- presented to a person who embodies the mission and values of the Society, and who has significantly advanced the Society’s mission at an international level.  The award presented on the Gala evening at the International Conference, Orlando, Florida recognized someone whose hard work and talent have far exceeded expectations. The recipient of the International Leadership Council President's Award is a remarkable, talented, and compassionate individual who has made the most lasting impact on the Society as a whole through extraordinary example, vision, leadership, and dedication.
We want to congratulate Dr Swemmer (BA Hons, MA, D Litt et Phil, TTHD), the Registrar at the University of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg (Wits), Chapter Advisor of the Wits Golden Key Chapter since 2001, South African Advisor of the year in 2006 and appointed to the Golden Key Board of Directors in 2006.

2008 Chapter Service Award Winners: University of Pretoria

It is with great pleasure for Golden Key to congratulate the University of Pretoria Golden Key Chapter for excellent community service initiatives and efforts to uplift the young generation of our country. You all make us proud. The chapter will receive US$1000 to assist them to continue with their community projects.

Volunteer Leadership Positions 2008/2009

The voting session’s election results were as follows:
CoA – Robert Kotze                      CoSM – Reshen Naidoo    

University of Stellenbosch            University of Cape Town

Special achievement chapter awards

University of the Free State - COMMUNITY OUTREACH AWARD

(Under the leadership of outgoing chapter president, Pietro Pretorius).

University of Stellenbosch - LITERACY AWARD

(Under the leadership of outgoing chapter president, Liebe Kouta).

University of Pretoria – BEST MEMBERSHIP DRIVE AWARD

(Under the leadership of outgoing chapter president, Ansa Brink).

University of Cape Town – BEST COMMUNICATION AWARD

(Under the leadership of outgoing chapter president, Reshen Naidoo).

2008 Sasol Golden Key Excellence Award Winners

The winners of the Sasol Golden Key Excellence Awards were announced during the South African Conference 2008 hosted by the North-West University, 17 September 2008.
This new Awards Programme was initiated by Sasol and Golden Key to recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of Golden Key members in South Africa.

The applications were judged by a panel and the following criteria were applied:
•    25% - Leadership Excellence: Demonstrated leadership on         and/or off campus
•    25% - Service Excellence: Involvement in community service         initiatives
•    50% - Academic Excellence: Sustained academic achievement

Congratulations to our winners:
Humanities – Liska du Preez, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University
Education - Michael Brien White, University of Pretoria
Law – Ryan Meintjes, North-West University
Natural & Applied Sciences - Megan Beckett, University of Cape Town
Engineering & the Built Environment - Lionel Prinsloo, University of Pretoria
Information Technology - Rouan Wilsenach, Rhodes University
Business & Management Sciences - Manuel Rodrigues, University of Johannesburg
Health Sciences – Basil May, University of the Western Cape

2008 International Scholarships & Awards

4 South Africans received International Scholarships and Awards and we want to congratulate the following Golden Key members:

Liz Marie Basson, Community Service Award valued at $500 donated ($250 to Danville Rooms), University of Pretoria.

Shital Assivankumar, GEICO Life Scholarship valued at $1000, University of Pretoria.

Clement Papy Nkubizi, GEICO Life Scholarship valued at $1000, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Klara-Marie den Heijer, Visual and Performing Arts valued at $500, University of Stellenbosch.

This shows that we in SA do have the talent to bring these awards home and we encourage you not to stand back, but actually apply.

South African Student Leader of the Year Award 2008

Liebe Kouta                                           Ansa Brink
University of Stellenbosch                    University of Pretoria


South African Advisor of the Year Award

Prof Charl Cilliers                            Dr Derek Swemmer
University of Stellenbosch              University of theWitwatersrand


2007 Sasol Golden Key Excellence Awards: Winners Announced!

The winners of the Sasol Golden Key Excellence Awards were announced during a Breakfast at The Innovation Hub in Pretoria on Saturday, 17 November 2007.   

This new Awards Programme was initiated by Sasol and Golden Key to recognise and celebrate the exceptional achievements of Golden Key members in South Africa.

The applications were judged by a panel and the following criteria were applied:
•    25% - Leadership Excellence: Demonstrated leadership on         and/or off campus
•    25% - Service Excellence: Involvement in community service         initiatives
•    50% - Academic Excellence: Sustained academic achievement

 One winner in each of the eight categories received R10 000 in cash to support their post-graduate studies in 2008.

Jessica Merry Brett Auerbach (University of Cape Town)

Janeke Deodata Thumbran (University of Pretoria)

Sarah Jean Swart (University of KwaZulu-Natal)
Wendy Louise Williams (University of Cape Town)

Ridhwaan Suliman (University of Pretoria)

Matthew David Dekenah (University of Stellenbosch)

Zafeer Nagdee (University of Johannesburg)

Anri Theron (North-West University)

Congratulations to all our winners!

SA Student wins International Award in Education

Congratulations to Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University student Melissa May, who has recently been awarded the Golden Key Education Achievement Award.  

The Education Achievement Award recognises three Golden Key members who excel in the study of education.  Golden Key awards $400,000 USD in scholarships and grants annually to qualifying members.

Active Golden Key members from any of the Society’s chapters may apply for this award, but only three outstanding members are selected to receive this honour.  May was selected from a pool of eligible candidates to receive a $1,000 USD award from the Society.  She submitted an essay entitled “Challenges facing schools in a South African context with reference to HIV/AIDS and language policy”.

May plans to continue her studies by enrolling for an Honours degree next year: “It is a great thing when achievement in a field so often unrecognised and unappreciated, is indeed noted and rewarded!  I am grateful to Golden Key for helping me truly realise my full potential and for supporting growth in my studies”.

Leadership awards 2006

Student Leader of the Year Award: R5 000

Congratulations to Laura Maureen Pereira of the University of the Witwatersrand!  Laura joined Golden Key in 2004 and has been actively involved ever since.  She holds a BSc degree in Zoology and Biology (Cum Laude) and is currently completing her BSc Honours degree.  Laura is a master in the art of multi-tasking and managed to maintain her excellent academic results while serving on the Wits SRC, Golden Key Executive Committee and many other facets of student life.

Advisor of the Year Award: R5 000

Congratulations to Dr Derek Swemmer of the University of the Witwatersrand!  Dr Swemmer, the Registrar of Wits, has been a Golden Key Advisor since 2002.  Over the past couple of years, he has made significant contributions to furthering Golden Key’s mission at his university, in South Africa and internationally.  His approach to “Advising” is to lay a good foundation and then to give students the creative freedom to implement, while maintaining an open-door policy.  He has also recently been elected to serve on the Golden Key International Board of Directors.

Outstanding Golden Key members in SA

Some say youth is wasted on the young.  Thando Pato begs to differ.  She spoke to committed campus leaders blessed with the vision, verve and vitality to make a real difference in others' lives.  This is the face of South Africa's future.
Catherine Johnston, South African Student Leader 2004

At the third annual Golden Key regional conference held in Port Elizabeth in September 2004, Catherine Johnston, the then president of the Rand Afrikaans University chapter of Golden Key was awarded the prestigious South African Student Leader Award for 2004 in recognition of her outstanding leadership qualities and dedication not only to Golden Key, but to the spirit of leadership in all of its forms.In this article, Catherine reflects on what it has meant to her to be a leader in Golden Key...

Frankly, I don't think that there is any significant factor that makes me an outstanding candidate for this award. My involvement with Golden Key has been characterised by a sense of "so much need and so little time...", coaxing and following up on reluctant committee members, balancing busy schedules, working through bureaucracy, frustration when good ideas are not implemented, academic deadlines, late nights, receiving numerous telephone calls and emails, crisis-management when people let one down at the last minute, my disappointment in myself for not achieving all of the goals I wanted to... and all of this juxtaposed next to a hugely needy society where there is much poverty and tremendous gaps in education.