Lim student going to Yale


VAALWATER — The past week has been tense for top achieving high school students around the world. The famous Ivy League universities of the United States have been informing the lucky few of their acceptance to study at these prestigious institutions. Competition is intense. Applicants represent the cream of students from across the US and the world, and yet the top colleges accept a mere 6% of these high achievers.
Among the students that were chosen this year is Rachel Calcott, who had spent her entire school career at Waterberg Academy in Vaalwater. She is the first student from Limpopo to ever attend Yale University.
Waterberg Academy achieved the distinction of being rated one of the top 30 schools in South Africa for Physical Science last year, while maintaining its ongoing 100% matric pass rate.
Rachel started school at Waterberg Academy in Grade R and matriculated last year with distinctions in all eight of her subjects, six above 90%, six in the top 5% and three in the top 1% of the IEB results.
Commenting on the education she received at Waterberg Academy Rachel said: ‘’Waterberg Academy was so much more than an excellent academic base. Whilst I had the opportunity to delve into my interests in science, music and literature under phenomenal tutelage, I was also able to engage in community development and discover a passion for humanitarian work. The school has been central to shaping my beliefs and ambitions, and I’m so grateful for the incredible launching pad it has been into a wider world of tertiary institutions and opportunities.”
After matriculating last year, Rachel has taken a year off in which she spent three months in the rain forests of Borneo providing access to water and sanitation for remote communities. She has also founded a community action program in a rural village in Limpopo which helps to improve housing and develop new economic opportunities.
After applying to Yale on 31 October 2017, Rachel had a tense six week wait to find out whether she had been accepted.
Asked what her reaction was to her Yale acceptance, Rachel said: “I was totally shocked at first … I kept thinking that it couldn’t be true, until my family came in with the champagne! This is the most incredible opportunity – in a minute my world expanded by a factor of a million. I’m so excited to be joining one of the most stimulating student bodies in the world. This is the kind of place where you can learn as much from your peers as from your professors. This chance to access the resources, culture and history of an institution like Yale is overwhelming. I hope to make the most of this life changing experience, and I am excited to be able to pursue my interests and convictions in this remarkable setting.”

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