Jessica Boyce had the news broken to her by Joburg’s Hottest Breakfast Show at Johannesburg-based radio station Hot 102.7FM, which works with Hot Cares to make a meaningful difference to the lives of those in its community.
Boyce is the recipient of a three-year Chef Apprenticeship Programme with the Guvon Academy, inclusive of all textbooks, tuition fees, uniform and knives, valued at R350,000.
Making people happy through food is what I want to do, and this bursary is just the start I need.
“I’m in complete and utter shock,” said Boyce. “I would never have been able to afford this and it’s a dream come true. Making people happy through food is what I want to do, and this bursary is just the start I need. I just love cooking and it’s something I’ve enjoyed doing all my life. Now I get to make a career out of it!”
The Guvon Academy is a member of the Guvon Hotels & Spas Group and their international accreditation with Highfield Qualifications and the Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality in the UK, as well as the Chartered Institute of Tourism and Hospitality, means their programmes are endorsed by industry leaders and globally recognised.
Boyce is a waitress and former restaurant manager, and her three-year programme will include workplace experience within the Guvon Hotels & Spas Group, as well as professional mentoring and development. This will allow her to experience a variety of aspects within a professional hospitality establishment.
According to Johan Oosthuizen, the managing principal of the Guvon Academy, once recipients complete this qualification, integration into one of the Guvon Hotels as a permanent staff member is a real option and a ‘fast track’ into formal employment.
“What an incredible opportunity!” said Lloyd Madurai, managing director of Hot 102.7FM. “Having long-standing and generous partners like the Guvon Academy makes our job so much easier and rewarding, but hats off to Jessica, who is clearly passionate about the culinary arts, and the motivation she put through for this bursary was simply outstanding.”
Every year Hot Cares hosts its Teddython fundraiser with Hot 102.7FM and the 2022 event saw a whopping R8.9m in cash, goods and services raised, with all of these funds and products – including the Guvon Academy bursary – providing Hot Cares with the means to continue doing the work it does over the coming year.
Hot Cares focuses its efforts on four key areas: humanitarian and welfare, medical, educational, and animal welfare – and the awarding of Boyce’s bursary fits strategically with the Hot Cares vision.
It sits alongside the existing Hot Cares initiatives, such as its weekly soup kitchen, the crèches it helps in informal settlements, the assistance it provides entrepreneurs and NPOs, medical assistance for those in need, the upliftment of schools and orphanages, and the assistance it provides individuals who just need a helping hand.