Member School Stories
Young Alumni Making Positive Contributions in the Community
To celebrate boys' schools around the globe and share fellowship, we want to showcase young alumni of IBSC member schools and the positive impact they make on their communities. Take a look at the inspiring stories below and consider sharing a story from your school. Thank you for championing boys' education!
Aylesbury Grammar School (United Kingdom)
James Waterhouse (Aylesbury Grammar School, Paterson House 2004) is the Ukraine correspondent for BBC News, bringing audiences a range of stories from across the country. He was appointed to the role in June 2022, after his acclaimed reporting as Kyiv correspondent during the outbreak of the war. His calm, clear, and compelling reporting style connected with millions as he found himself on the frontline when Russia launched its full-scale invasion in early 2022.
Queen’s College Boys’ High School (South Africa)
Now ranked as one of the best schoolboy public speakers in South Africa, Queen’s College Boys’ High School alum Lufezo Tafane has had the opportunity to speak internationally and has made many addresses in the South African Parliament. He shares his journey:
Before joining the Queen's College family, I was what they call a "struggling debater." I was a young boy with passion but no resources. I could create arguments, but I had no coaches or opportunities to exercise my talents. The best I could do was host debates with my mates and argue about peppers and onions…
I was welcomed into the Queen's family which gave me the opportunity to participate in many debate derbies. The Queen’s debating culture and its history helped me hone my skills to the point where I’m now ranked among the best speakers in my country.
My debating journey at Queen's enlightened me and allowed me to analyze some of the most radical and sensitive societal concessions ranging from feminism to identity politics. Now I help hone the debating skills of the boys at Queen's with a similar background to me, help them find their footing, and contribute to the political and social climate with a meaningful voice.
Rondebosch Boys’ High School (South Africa)
Rondebosch Boys’ High School Alumni Sam and Rob Paddock's are Co-founders of GetSmarter. Their purpose is to improve one million lives through online education by 2030. Recently selling the company to 2U, Sam and Rob say the deal will help the brothers accelerate this objective.
2U offers degrees from highly ranked institutions such as Yale, the University of California Berkley, and New York University while GetSmarter offers short courses from UCT, Wits, Stellenbosch, MIT, Harvard, UChicago, Oxford, Cambridge, and the London School of Economics. Working together services both ends of the market, and their combined reach is incredible.
Sam and Rob have built a solid, sustainable business that has enjoyed incredible growth over the past few years, but what attracted 2U was a shared sense of purpose. "There's real cultural alignment between our two businesses," says Rob. "Culture has given us a real competitive edge, and it's the guiding force behind the principle and values we've built the business on."
The lesson is a simple one. If your values and purpose are clear, you'll naturally attract likeminded people to your organization, from employees to investors and potential partners and buyers.
St. Alban’s College (South Africa)
St. Alban’s College alumnus Robert Walker (Class of 2005) is the director of Jukwaa, which manages innovative projects like the Sasol Solar Car Challenge and the E-Mobility Congress of South Africa. His primary role in the company is the conceptualization of large-scale strategic events. Through his work, Walker strives to become market-leading, set new standards for the sector, and speed up the change toward sustainable mobility. He believes our youth have the potential to become world leaders in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). He hopes to see young South Africans “believe in a future which is clean, green, and driven by STEM”.
The Sasol Solar Car Challenge is a “race” that covers more than 2,000 km. It inspires youth to pursue science and engineering and allows schools to show off their design, manufacturing, and strategy skills. The ultimate winner is the team that manages to clock the most kilometers travelled. The cars’ solar panels are at the “cutting edge of energy technology and stretch over the entire surface of the unique, knee-high cars”.
Walker was chosen as one of the Mail & Guardian Top 200 Young South Africans in 2022 for Science and Technology. He chats to Tech Central about the biennial event that sees teams “racing” solar-powered vehicles across the length and breadth of South Africa.
Christ's College (New Zealand)
Sam Johnson became prominent in New Zealand for starting the Student Volunteer Army following the Christchurch earthquakes. He is a social entrepreneur whose local and international work in volunteerism, disaster risk reduction, and the social connection arena has led to several successful nonprofit and business ventures that continue to develop. Johnson has been previously named a Young New Zealander of the Year and Communicator of the Year and received a prestigious leadership award from the Sir Peter Blake Trust.