Spirit of Youth for School Learners

​​​​​​​​"There’s a radical – and wonderful – new idea here… that all children could and should be inventors of their own theories, critics of other people’s ideas, analysers of evidence, and makers of their own personal marks on the world. It’s an idea with revolutionary implications. If we take it seriously." - Deborah Meier

​What is Spirit of Youth?

The Spirit of Youth programme is a forum in which grade 11 learners critically engage on relevant issues that they may better define and actuate the South Africa in which they would like to live. Learners are selected on the criteria that each has distinguished her- or himself as a leader in their school community. The expectation is that these young people are likely to have a disproportionally high impact on their immediate peers and society at large. The programme brings together learners from a myriad of social, economic, geographical and educational backgrounds from across Gauteng. Our aim is that this year-long discourse will develop new understanding of the South African context and its possibilities.

Our Purpose

The purpose of the Spirit of Youth Programme is to give high impact learners in their penultimate years of schooling a platform to define and voice their vision of South Africa. The programme includes activities that enable delegates to dialogue with both policymakers and peers on issues critical to the future of our nation. We use a number of innovative techniques to facilitate peer-to-peer learning on the most pivotal social and political topics facing our nation's progress. In the Spirit of Youth programme, facilitated dialogue and experiential learning are the key tools used to support learners' growth.

Our O​bjectives

The objectives of the Spirit of Youth Programme are accomplished by creating and facilitating opportunities for participants to:

  • Gain a broader insight and new perspective into the South African context;

  • Think more creatively about farther-reaching solutions to South African challenges;

  • Learn to frame and execute a community impact project;

  • Development of a network of high performing young individuals;

  • Engage in critical dialogue with other learner leaders;

  • Channel youth energy for personal development;

  • Facilitate the creation of a vision for a better country;

  • Create a spirit of volunteerism; and

  • Create an awareness of opportunities within South Africa.

Some of the themes include:

  • Race and identity in South Africa;

  • Personal leadership;

  • Social responsibility; and

  • Moving successfully into professional life.​​

Recruitment and Fees

​We invite participants from geographically and socio-economically diverse schools to apply to the programme. Participants must be chosen by the faculty of their school as a learner of great influence and vision and are then vetted by the Spirit of Youth staff based on a statement they submit on being a young member of South African society. We aim to create a class that represents the diversity of South African society at large. We subsidise 100% of participants' fees through donor funds.​ To find out more about how a school you know can apply to the programme, please contact us. 

Applications open September 2017.

Contact person: Jadey Bosman

Contact number: 011 771 4230

Email address: bosmanj@gibs.co.za

Career Expo​

​What is the GIBS Career Expo?​

The GIBS Career Expo is held annually, bringing together the top ten academic learners in 11th and 12th grade from over 200 schools, across the socio-economic spectrum, with educational institutions and corporates, in order to inform the learners of the potential career opportunities available and what would be required in order to facilitate their entry into those fields. Many talented young South African learners, from all walks of life lack access to career advice and aren’t often provided with the opportunity to interact with potential employers during their final years of school. These are the future leaders of our country and it is therefore GIBS’ aim to showcase education and career opportunities to guide these bright young minds.

Our Objectives

The aim of the Expo is to provide an opportunity for learners to directly interact with: companies showcasing their brands, educational institutions that will highlight entrance requirements, and role models who will share their personal experiences. The timing of the event gives pupils plenty of time to submit bursary applications and improve their marks, if necessary, before the mid- year deadlines. The Expo also gives pupils an opportunity to talk to the people involved in various careers, rather than reading about it in a book or being told about it in class. As part of the event, we hold interactive talks, with facilitators ensuring that pupils are able to ask questions. Talks about the world of work can often bore even the most ambitious youngsters, so the emphasis is on making the talks both fun and informative.


Our exhibitors include some of the largest South African and international corporates as well as well-known educational institutions. They include:

  • AAA School of Advertising;
  • Accenture;
  • Allan Gray Orbis Foundation;
  • Association of South African Black Actuarial Professional;
  • De Beers;
  • Deloitte;
  • Multichoice;
  • Ernst & Young;
  • IMM Graduate School of Marketing;
  • KPMG;
  • Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University;
  • Pricewaterhouse Coopers;
  • The Financial Planning Institute;
  • Tshwane University of Technology;
  • University of Witwatersrand;
  • University Of Johannesburg;
  • University of Pretoria; and
  • Webber Wentzel.
  • Criteria for Learner Selection
In order to connect the top grade 11 and 12 learners to the top companies, careers and further education institutions, we ensure that the nominees from each school fulfill the following minimum criteria:

1. Academic: Nominees have achieved the top grade average for at least two of the following three subjects: English, Maths and Science for their final grade 11 results. Preferably the nominees have all their subjects on higher grade.
2. Leadership: The nominees should have recognised leadership potential, for instance by having been a Representative Leadership Council (RCL) member in previous years with good results and an RCL member in previous years. The nominee’s leadership ability may also have been evidenced by leading sport teams and cultural societies.
3. Community orientation: We are looking for high- potential individuals who have an interest that extends beyond their own self-interest. This could be evidenced by involvement in community or special school initiatives
4. Passion: The nominees should be passionate, driven and confident individuals.
Through this initiative we grant top performing learners access to opportunities offered by the top companies and educational institutions.

Participation and Cost

It is an invitation only event, where participants have the opportunity to meet with young professionals to discuss challenges related to moving into professional life as well as some socio-political issues that relate to adult responsibilities. 

To exhibit to this group
of 2 300 selected learners please contact Jadey Bosman

at bosmanj@gibs.co.za or on +27 (0)11 771 4230.

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