My name is Samantha Potgieter. I am 23 years old. I completed my BSocSci Honours Degree in Psychology at the University of Pretoria in 2020. I chose psychology as a major as I was very interested in learning about human behaviour.
I have always had a special place in my heart and a passion to work with children. I’ve been working at The Star Academy for almost 3 years and it’s completely transformed my life. I’m encouraged and inspired by the fact that I can contribute positively to the growth and development of the children. I believe in Applied Behaviour Analysis (ABA) 100%! It works! I love that we can share what we’re able to do with the world.
During my time at Star Academy, I have been privileged to be selected to work both in Rwanda and Mauritius on international rotations.
In 2021, I was placed with a host family in Rwanda. I was assigned to a 6 year old boy on the spectrum and responsible for his program implementation. I was only meant to stay for 3 months but enjoyed it so much and decided to extend my stay. It was heart-warming to be a part of the little boy’s progress and I was sad to say goodbye to my host family. Getting to know the people and culture of Rwanda was a very special experience for me.
This year, I visited Mauritius, to provide ABA services to 3-year-old twin boys. They stole my heart!. The family welcomed me with open arms, motivating me even more! I stayed for 4 months, getting them to a point of growth in not only their communication skills but so, so much more. They made progress in all areas of development! I couldn’t be more proud of their achievements! Exploring Mauritius was magical and I’m grateful for the opportunity I was given to explore such a beautiful island.
I have recently arrived back in South Africa and am working with a number of children at the Star Academy in Johannesburg.