Refiloe Seseane

Founder: 18twenty8

Refiloe Seseane is the real deal � she's got the face for television, the voice for radio and the brains for economics. And she's conquered them all. By 28 she had an honours degree in economics, played a lead role in Generations, worked as a business analyst for a major bank and still found time to mentor young learners at the non-profit university, TSiBA. But something didn't sit well. She knew she could do more, be more, give more. And then it came to her � mentorship. It was something she had wished for as an 18-year- old girl from Benoni, trying to find her way in the world. So, in 2008, Seseane started 18twenty8, a non-profit organisation that offers support and resources to high-potential young women, aged 18 to 28, exposing them to opportunities their socioeconomic constraints might never allow. At the heart of the programme is the 18twenty8 Big Sister Network, a mentorship programme that matches a girl to a professional woman for added support, exposure and growth. Seseane and her team also run workshops for Grade 11 and Grade 12 girls at disadvantaged community schools and assist their "Little Sisters� to apply for bursaries, scholarships and jobs. It has enabled Seseane to combine her love for communication and economics. When she's not presenting and accepting awards like a trained television professional she is mapping out sustainable business models and trying to balance the ever-increasing demand for mentors against the limited supply her Gauteng-based operation allows for.It's not hard to see why she walked away with the youth in philanthropy award at last year's Inyathelo Philanthropy Awards. Here's hoping she gets the support and resources she needs to take her vision global. Or at least national. � Cat Pritchard