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  • Writer's pictureRuth First Trust

Pianist, networker, tennis enthusiast, top drawer academic

Anyone who attended the Jeppe Fiesta at the Linder Auditorium might remember Sherry Jiang. She was the top raffle ticket seller – selling four sheets in record time! Her delight in raising money for our scholarship programme, willingness to approach people and commitment were exemplary. Not surprising therefore, that she is Jeppe Girls’ Head Girl for 2018.

As the only daughter of a Chinese immigrant family, her ambition was to follow in the footsteps of her cousins from Leicester Road Primary to Jeppe Girls. As a recipient of the Ruth First Scholarship programme, she acknowledges how this broadened her horizons and field of experience beyond that of her school colleagues. With a glint in her eye, she mentions meeting and interacting with people who others have only seen on TV or in the newspapers, visiting her sponsors, Shanduka, the networking opportunities the Fiesta offered and the role which the mentorship programme has played in answering her questions and providing opportunities for growth. Over the years, her people skills and confidence has grown through social interactions with the likes of Albie Sachs, Cheryl Carolus and Ahmed Kathrada.

Her success at Jeppe is wide ranging. In addition to her leadership role, she has full academic colours, participated in public speaking and hockey as a goal keeper, and is a current member of the B Tennis Team. Outside of school, she plays the piano and is preparing for the Royal School of Music’s Grade 5 examination. She loves it when the music comes together, and relishes the discipline of daily practice, viewing it as a choice rather than a chore.

She describes her leadership style as lenient and casual – and she pays tribute to her nascent team of councilors as sharing a common vision, being helpful and committed. “I have faith in them” she says, a simple mantra which speaks of trust and being a team player.

Sherry’s dream is to follow in her orthopedic surgeon grandfather’s footsteps and become a doctor. His words “It’s far from the heart” stay with her as a reminder not to sweat the small stuff. She would like to study at UCT. Priding herself on her independence, she acknowledges “helping others fulfills me”.

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