Ellen and Jerry Gallagher first visited South Africa on vacation in 1998. A number of attributes caught their attention including its natural beauty, the delightful and friendly people and the existence of an impressive economic infrastructure. This experience led them to design and eventually create the Gallagher Foundation. Since the people of South Africa provided them with the inspiration, it was only fitting that their nation be the inaugural country for the scholarship program in 2001.
In South Africa, all of our students attend University of Cape Town (UCT). UCT was selected because of the strong faculty, good facilities, success in educating people from disadvantaged backgrounds and an environment that was both stimulating and safe for our Scholars. UCT is also the top ranked University in Africa and has a spectacular setting in the heart of Cape Town. Former Deputy Vice Chancellor Martin West was instrumental in designing and launching our program. The current administration at UCT, led by Dr. Max Price continues to support our program. To find out more about UCT, visit their website at www.uct.ac.za/
Lesego Jerrams, a member of the CareerWise team, became the Country Director of the South Africa program in 2016. The CareerWise team, led by Monique Adams, has served in the role of Country Director since 2001.
Prior to the Gallagher Foundation, Lesego attended the University of the Witwatersrand (WITS) and graduated with a LLB degree (law). After graduating from WITS, she managed the UTI Empowerment Trust bursary scheme. Additionally, she has been responsible for the overall management of the MPACT Foundation Trust, as well as, the Woolworths Child of Employee Bursary Scheme.
Lesego believes that working with the Gallagher Scholars gives her an opportunity to be the person she needed at that stage of her life. She finds it very fulfilling to watch Scholars grow and change from the time they enter the program to when they leave.
Recently, Lesego married her boyfriend of 5 years. In her free time, she enjoys reading, attending book club meetings, watching movies (sci-fi, fantasy, adventure), and has recently started gardening. She is happy to report that everything she planted in December is still alive!