Behind the scenes of the Ruth First scholarship programme, Jackie Standish-White has been involved since 2013. She qualified as a chartered accountant at KPMG, where she was involved in learning and development, recruiting and marketing over twenty years. A KPMG colleague who conducted the RF Trust’s audit invited her to be a mentor. Her role as a volunteer has grown to include responsibility for communication, administration and the mentoring programme.
As can be seen from the comments below Jackie’s contribution to the lives of the Ruthies as a role model is inestimable and greatly appreciated.
In an interview with alumna, Sasha-Lee Morare, RF 2012, Jackie reflected on the impact of the mentoring programme on the Ruthies: “It’s created a Ruth First identity and a sense of pride. The girls enjoy coming to the sessions, which are a safe space where they interact and have a voice. Gentle focused attention in a non-judgemental way hopefully enable the girls to explore their identity and have some fun.”
Sasha stretched Jackie by asking what an educated person looks like in today’s context: “It’s about being willing to engage, learn new things, be open minded, and questioning. That’s where education must go, because being successful means nurturing and developing skills that computers don’t have.”
The Ruthie’s had this to say about Jackie:
A strong woman who is always supportive and looks for the silver lining in anyone and any situation. Jamie Moyce RF 2014
The compassion and sincerity with which Jackie connects with her mentees and the people of the Ruth First Programme is not only testament to her character but also to the impact a devoted mentor has on the progress of the mentorship program. As one of her mentees, I am grateful to have experienced that first-hand. Thirasha Waidyaratne RF 2012
Jackie is not only a remarkable role model for all Ruthies, but she is a strong woman whose compassion, organising and managing skills amaze me. We as Ruthies know that without her efforts a lot would not be possible. Tasneem Bharoochi RF 2015
Jackie is a remarkable woman who always has a friendly face and can always make anyone's day better. Her selfless attitude and loving character make it impossible for one not to love being in her presence. Jackie is amazing, and I thank her for all the laborious hours she puts into the Ruth First Memorial Scholarship. Tshaamano Mabuba RF 2017
Jackie is a caring person, always concerned about our well-being, and always sees the positive things in every situation. Chiamaka Obi RF 2018
You can call Jackie, Jackie, without asking her if that is okay because that is what she is to us, a sister. She always makes sure that she puts an effort in making sure the people around her get what they need without expecting anything in return. Naledi Lephuting RF 2017
She’s a strong willed and fierce woman. Kgomotso Sekhukhune RF 2014
Jackie is one of a kind. She's committed and dedicated to everything she sets her mind to. She has an amazing standard of excellence that shows itself in every task she is given. Jackie is a light and a joy to the mentorship program she brings such a love that makes everyone she meets feel warm and welcomed I'm truly glad to know her. Tayana Magatti RF 2014
Jackie is seated, second from the left in the picture above with some of her mentees.