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"Forever grateful" says Jarryd

“I am Head boy, Chairperson of the Representative Council of Learners as well as the Chairperson of the Provincial RCL and I also have ADHD. I have been given the honor of sharing my story with you of how Jan Kriel School forever changed my life.”

Jarryd Jansen addressed guests at the Jan Kriel annual Wine Auction on Wednesday, 16 August 2023. “In 2020 I was a Grade 10 student at Protea Heights Academy. I was lost, stuck in classes of 40 to 50 learners and could never focus.”

“I was struggling academically, barely even reaching 30% and completely unmotivated in life. Struggling with depression and taking medication to combat my anxiety, I weighed 120kg at the age of 15 and my mindset was to do the bare minimum when it came to anything. I had given up on life. I had no self worth and I believed I would be nothing after school.”

“In October 2020 I turned 16, schools had opened and I was overwhelmed in all of my classes. I was embarrassed and I didn't know what to do. But everything changed when the social worker at Protea Heights Academy told me that I could move to Jan Kriel School if I redid Grade 10. I was hesitant at first, because I was embarrassed to repeat a year. Eventually I became hopeful at the chance to possibly start over and made the decision to redo Grade 10.”

“On the 25th of March 2021, I arrived at Jan Kriel for my first day at my new school. I remember how welcoming and supportive all the educators and staff were. I remember my now best friend, Leo, coming up to me and inviting me to sit with him and his group of friends. I had no friends before that day, but the one thing that I will never forget about my first day, is the feeling of being unjudged- I felt like a normal person for the first time in my life.”

“By the end of 2021 I had lost 50kg, was off all medication for anxiety and depression, in the top ten students in the grade and was elected to the Representative Council of Learners. At the end of 2022 I was elected to the Representative Council of Learners again, this time as Chairperson. I was also chosen as a prefect, received the honor of being Head Boy and was named Top Student in our grade. This year I was also elected as Chairman to the Western Province RCL. Imagine that- the only learner from a special needs school becomes the chairman!”

“I have only been able to turn my life around thanks to the amazing and constant support

at Jan Kriel. This is something I will forever be grateful for.”

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