Just six months after joining the Step Up program, changes in Mpho’s attitude were evident. Coming from a large but low-income household of 13 people, Mpho’s family has had trouble affording food and clothes. His parents have tried to register Mpho and his siblings with local social workers so they can receive basic needs.
Kids in school know his family struggles and they often see him wearing the same clothes to school. Mpho was often mocked by his fellow classmates, naturally causing him to feel down and unsure about himself. But Step Up was an opportunity for him to overcome his doubts and to start thinking more positively about his future.
At Step Up, 11-year- old Mpho takes advantage of the academic support to improve his English skills and to challenge himself in math, his favorite subject in school. Rarely missing a day of the after-school program, Mpho enjoys not just the educational aspects Step Up offers, but also the time to play and interact with his peers.
Having dreams of becoming a pilot gives Mpho the drive to do well in the program and in school in order to become self-reliant. “I will be confident as an adult,” Mpho said when asked how Step Up will help him later in life.
He now takes initiative, striving to learn the life skills to help him succeed in life. Seeing Step Up as an opportunity for himself and his family, Mpho no longer feels down about his family’s financial status, but instead sees it as personal motivation to do well for their future. Mpho is on a smarter path for his own future as well with Step Up.