The theme for Youth Month 2023 is: “Accelerating collaborations and opportunities to improve the lives of the youth.”
At the North-West University (NWU), our students have boundless opportunities to explore beyond what is expected of them. This gives them the chance to become the leaders their community needs, and the leadership skills they develop help them soar beyond their academic journey!
Join us in celebrating Youth Month by recognising the student leaders who are shaping the future of our university and the world.
“You are a student before you are a student leader,” says soaring eagle Etienne Joseph, the Faculty of Humanities’ Marketing and Public Relations Officer on the Vanderbijlpark Campus, who uses his voice for those who are silenced.
As a people’s person who loves to interact with other people as well as lending a help hand whenever he can, Etienne joined the Humanities Academic Student Chapter which was the perfect opportunity to help people while learning.
Through family support and external inspiration Etienne went into leadership. His surroundings and seeing the needs of his fellow students played an important part but believing in himself pushed him harder. He lives by the quote of Jewish scholar Hillel: “If not you, then who? If not now, when?” which encouraged his leap of faith.
Etienne believes collaboration between student leaders and the faculty/administration can lead to meaningful change for #MyNWU and its students. Being a student leader gave him valuable insight and the platform to advocate for the students as a student. The platform provides lesson that go beyond the academic journey, by offering skills that allow him to better address challenges and issues that students are facing.
This NWU Eagle understands that the youth can inspire hope, challenge the status quo, and shape a brighter future for their generation and the ones that follow. “The young generation simply needs to renew, refresh and maintain as well as improve the current status of society and South Africa as a whole.”
“The youth of today are the leaders of tomorrow. They need to speak up and take up space, help each other grow together and improve the future for us and the next generation.”
He understands that being part of student leadership is a learning curve and you have to be open minded and understanding in order to advocate for change when necessary.
“Advocate for development and change, speak up for those who are shy or scared to do so. Be a voice. Take this as an opportunity to grow and evolve not only as a leader but as an individual as well. Most importantly, enjoy the time, network, make new friends, support your committee members and students. Be there, be present, and show up.” Happy Youth Month, #NWUEagles!