JumpStart Celebrates Youth Month    

© Pierre Tostee / Mr Price Foundation


THIS YOUTH MONTH, we celebrate the inspirational youth whose lives have been shaped by our JumpStart skills development programmes.  Youth are the heart of Mr Price Foundation. Our mission is to build their employability and income-generating opportunities through skills development, helping them to unlock their potential and fly high!  


Our JumpStart programmes are continually evolving to ensure the candidates we produce fulfil the needs of our partners in the retail and manufacturing value chain.   


One of our incredible alumni is award-winning fashion designer Martin John Steenkamp, who has stepped into his own since graduating from the JumpStart Pre-Production Programme in 2016.  


“As a young person, you are free to think and learn as you wish, free to experience all that life has to offer, and free to become anything and anyone you want. Youth Day is a reminder of our history, and it’s a reminder of the beautiful potential of our future,” says Martin. 


Like many JumpStart youth, Martin has humble beginnings. Originally from a farm in the Eastern Cape with no electricity or running water, he recalls his daily trek with his siblings to collect buckets of water. This tiring daily task instilled high levels of discipline and tenacity in the youngster. 


Martin matriculated in 2007 and began working at a local supermarket chain, saving up for his ultimate dream: to study fashion design.  After completing his degree, he was selected for the JumpStart Pre-Production programme – and came away with an in-depth understanding of the clothing industry.  


“The programme creates a stepping stone for young graduates entering the industry. It allows one to build a more holistic view of the industry. Most importantly, it instils skills, knowledge and insight, enabling students to approach the industry with a greater sense of understanding and confidence.” 


Currently a lecturer in clothing production at Umgungundlovu TVET College in Pietermaritzburg, Martin has launched his own couture studio, Fashion Union, and has successfully showcased his designs on many high-profile runways, including Durban Fashion Week, Durban July and Mercedes Benz Fashion Week in Ghana. © Pierre Tostee / Mr Price Foundation


This June, as South Africa celebrates its youth, Martin gives the following advice to youth: “It’s important for you to know who you are, and to walk into spaces and to fill those spaces with an understanding that you are not just enough, but you are more than enough! Your story is important for the world to see and to experience. Live life to your highest and fullest version of yourself.” 


We celebrate gamechangers like Martin who persevere, despite the odds, to create success stories for themselves. These role models give hope to youth from underserved communities, that tomorrow can be better than today. 


Mr Price Foundation’s skills development programmes include the JumpStart Retail Frontline Programme (our most successful and longest-running programme) and the JumpStart Retail Sales Programme. These two programmes are currently open for applications.  





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