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Reasons to be Proud - #R2bP: Lesego Nkosi, a Mandela University Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Sociology student, recently graduated from the sought-after Democracy Works Academy.

The Democracy Works Academy is a prestigious, civic education and engagement programme that supports young people and aims to create a transparent, accountable and responsible values-based society in South Africa.  The Academy is run by the Democracy Works Foundation in partner with the Transformation Initiative.

Lesego along with the other 21 graduates were selected from thousands of applicants via a two-phase application and interviewing process. The application required that individuals show commitment to driving change, the understanding of democracy, socioe-conomic issues facing South Africa and the leadership skills each has shown in understanding the responsibility they have as a citizen and social activist in South Africa. In the interview process, delegates had to critically showcase the way they would address a challenge that South Africa faces but also one that the delegates care about deeply. The urgency to develop their communities and create support was essential in being part of a programme that aims to empower future leaders.

Through the online curriculum partnership with the University of Pretoria, Lesego graduated with the certification of "Thought Leadership and State of the Nation" from the Faculty of Humanities and a Project Management Certificate from the Faculty of Engineering, the Built Environment and Information Technology.

All 22 leaders, from across South Africa, were recognised at a Gala Dinner and Graduation ceremony that took place on the 27th of November after a week long residential seminar.

As a young social activist Lesego believes that, "It is important to equip and invest in yourself so that you can obtain the skills and tools to be an agent of change in partnership with your communities".