Graduate Follows in Footsteps of her Mother and Grandmother!
Ms Alma Charlotte van Belkum, the daughter of UKZN’s Psychiatric Nursing lecturer, Ms Charlotte Engelbrecht, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Development, making her the third generation in the family to graduate.
‘I feel very honoured and super excited about graduating,’ said van Belkum.
Her mother and grandmother were her greatest inspiration. ‘In a way, I’m definitely following in their footsteps as a woman brought up strong and gracefully who has been pressed to the edge by life but persevered through.
‘These last four years have been the most difficult time of my life. Yet I made it thanks in many ways to the prayers of my mother and grandmother. I followed their lead and just like them I made it despite the odds,’ said van Belkum.
Similar to her grandmother and mother, van Belkum’s main focus was on Psychology modules, ‘I deeply care for other people and community development. I hope to one day have my own little school to help children who are underdeveloped.’
Van Belkum’s personal motto is to always look for the good in every situation, ‘Laughing is addictive - smile and you will brighten the world.’
‘Like my mom and gran, I am born a scholar and see every day as an opportunity to learn something new. They are both strong women who carried their families through life. I grew up with both of them and my two siblings. Though things were hard as my mom worked nightshift throughout my childhood, I couldn’t have been happier.’
Engelbrecht’s mother was among the Nursing student groups that started with the degree course at the University of Pretoria under the renowned Professor Charlotte Searle.
Engelbrecht studied Bachelor of Nursing Science (B Cur) and completed her masters at the then Rand Afrikaans University (now University of Johannesburg) and is currently doing her PhD at UKZN.