When Lara van Rooyen from Curro Mossel Bay, scored an esteemed 92.86% average to secure joint honours as Curro Holdings’ IEB top academic achiever of 2018, it was clear that South Africa is dealing with a prodigious academic mind. Van Rooyen’s talent has been recognised by one of the foremost academic institutions in the world, with Harvard University accepting her as a student for its next academic year.
This Ivy League university, situated in Cambridge, Massachusetts in the United States, consistently ranks as one of the top three learning institutions worldwide. As such, Van Rooyen is one of only 1 950 students accepted into Harvard College, the undergraduate programme of Harvard University, for the year. Starting in August, she hopes to major in Biology or Biochemistry, after which Van Rooyen will consider either going to medical school or becoming a research scientist.
Although accepted into seven other renowned American universities, the road to Harvard was a difficult one. “Realistically, I didn’t think there was a chance at all that I would get accepted,” Van Rooyen says, considering the number of learners that apply to study at Harvard from across the globe. After completing her application, she had to attend an interview in Cape Town which lasted for three hours. When she eventually heard about her acceptance into Harvard at the start of April, it was with as much relief as it was with excitement. “It’s quite crazy, but an absolute blessing,” she notes.
News of this Curro alumna’s success quickly reached head office and on hearing the news, Curro Holdings CEO, Andries Greyling, expressed his congratulations. Greyling notes how he feels like a proud father and wishes Lara well on her academic journey ahead. “Harvard University is lucky to have one of us,” Greyling adds.
Van Rooyen’s journey to Harvard will certainly serve as inspiration for Curro’s learners, while she’s seen as an early success of Curro’s #Learners2Leaders campaign – a campaign launched to celebrate the brand’s mission of developing well-rounded youth with a bright future, through quality independent education.
Van Rooyen has some sage advice for learners, stating that, “Just because you come from a small town or go to a small school, it does not mean your dreams need to be small. As long as you put the effort in, and do the planning, you can make it happen.” Hailing from one of the smaller towns of South Africa - George, Van Rooyen knows all too well about not just dreaming big, but also fulfilling it.