National Learner Award
Name: Mr Alessio Marcus
School: Beacon Hill High School, Beacon Hill, Mitchells Plain
District: Metropole South Education District
The successful nominee is a confident, eloquent, energetic and highly driven young man. His solid presence of mind, coupled with his commitment to social cohesion and nation building in a developmental South Africa, is to be admired and commended.
He is a strong leader who has demonstrated self-awareness, self-discipline and the need to inject enthusiastic action into his peers. His sense of engagement is inviting and motivating. Through his presentation, he articulated his ability to inspire and nurture talent within his peer group and his community. This earned him the title of Head Boy and Representative Council of Learners (RCL) Chairperson at his school, and in 2020 he was elected as the provincial RCL Chairperson. His leadership qualities have ensured that he acts as an ambassador locally, nationally and globally. He has served on several forums, the most noteworthy of which include the Junior Mayor of the City of Cape Town, Western Cape Child Rights Governance Monitor and Deputy Speaker of the Nelson Mandela Children's Parliament. This is indicative of a young man who uses his skills to enhance his personal journey, as well as that of his school community and wider environment. It is no wonder that he was one of a select few South African learners who participated internationally in a youth engagement platform on learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a young innovator, he has established his own YouTube Radio Channel (Youth Alive), which focuses on learner psycho-social and academic issues. He has been interviewed on various radio stations and the many invitations extended to him are indicative of him being a social influencer. He has been invited as the keynote speaker at several schools across the province, including primary schools.
The nominee has displayed resilience in the face of adversity; he has used his challenges as opportunities for development and has succeeded admirably. His sense of industry and innovation resulted in him establishing WhatsApp groups for tutoring purposes: this has allowed vulnerable learners to access much-needed resources. His collaborative skills have invited participation from learners of diverse cultures to engage with difficult topics via his social media channels. Particularly commendable is his commitment to support and uplift academically challenged learners.
His maturity and resilience were evident in his response to financial difficulties experienced by his family which resulted in relocation and a change of circumstances, as well as the loss of four immediate family members in one year. Despite these challenges, Mr Marcus saw these as learning opportunities. This was underscored by his reference to Maya Angelou’s Still I Rise as a point of departure in his presentation for the way he engages with life.
His presentation was so impactful, that the adjudicators have no reservations in nominating him as the worthiest provincial candidate.