Struan Schutter, 00 BRAVO (Fitting and Turning business owner)
I was a young man with no hope and direction. When the opportunity came for me to go to Tokai, I took full advantage of it and enrolled in what was the second course offered by Chrysalis Academy since its inception. The principles and values instilled in me by Chrysalis Academy through its three-month life skills programme were truly life changing and my life has never been the same again.
Upon graduating on 10th November 2000, I went back into my community and became involved in soccer coaching as well as playing club soccer. I captained our soccer team and we won several competitions, despite coming from a community, where we had no sports facilities. These circumstances did not deter me, as I possessed a zeal for change and being a role model for the youth in my community. I coached youth who found a role model in me. In 2001, I enrolled in a technical college and pursued a study path in Fitting and Turning. Chrysalis had already exposed me to a 90-hour course at Westlake College and this helped me complete the college course with ease. I was introduced to engineering at that time and continued in that field. As such, I have worked in ENGINEERING COMPANIES as a fitter and turner, and in the process I acquired extensive experience. However, my life was not always as good – I have had bad experiences and life challenges that were overwhelming and difficult. I sincerely thank Chrysalis for their investment in me and the life skills they imparted to me as a young man. These skills enabled me stand up and acknowledge that giving up is never an option. From this I grew to become the leader and role model that I am today. Chrysalis was successful in unleashing in me a positive attitude, discipline and determination to do well. As such, I was able to travel to another country confidently because I know I am empowered to navigate life with better awareness.
In 2012, I had an encounter with the Lord Jesus Christ. I now serve the Lord whole heartedly with my beautiful family. God has restored me completely and now we are currently serving in VICTORY OUTREACH, a ministry that reaches drug addicts, gang members and their families. I am serving in a leadership role in our church and oversee all the small groups we have in Cape Town. I am also actively involved in the community where I grew up, by helping young men and women into our recovery home. I am also a business owner in the engineering industry (fitting and turning). I had the opportunity to travel to the USA to attend conferences and will return to the States in 2020 to graduate in bible studies. Once these studies are complete, I will become a pastor. I still talk about the experience I had at Chrysalis 20 years ago and how that foundation made me the man I am today. The waking up early, the drilling, the classes and every detail of Chrysalis made a positive impact in my life, so much so that I am still reaping the benefits.
I have been following all the success stories of Chrysalis and I am blessed to see the good work continuing to make a positive impact in Cape Town and the rest of South Africa. What I learnt 20 years ago, I still implement in my everyday life and it has given me success over and over. My cocoon was moulded in the factory of Chrysalis and today I am a fully-grown butterfly, reaping the benefits and living my best life ever. I will be forever grateful for the impact Chrysalis made in my life and I will always be available to partner in any way possible to continue to contribute to our country. I am also proud to share that I made four close friends whilst at Chrysalis one of whom sadly passed on. The three remaining, like myself are also leaders in their communities and we are all still very good friends. As we are now in challenging times, I trust that all young people will observe the Lockdown and stay indoors to ensure that we put no-one at risk. Blessings to all.