On 26th November 2011, my family and I were involved in a car accident. It resulted in more than just severe physical damage but transformed our lives as we knew it. My name is Ayesha Toyer and this is my story…
This accident did not happen to me but for me. I was determined to succeed against all odds and was given a platform to do just that.
At the tender age of 14, my life catapulted in a way all too frightening for me. I was now wheelchair-bound, strapped to an object that was to cart me around for the remainder of my life. Swimming, riding a bicycle and walks on the beach were out of reach. Aside from that, I was attending a school that was not too focused on academics, but rather the artistic and holistic development of its learners. In conjunction with this, the school had a lot of activities outside the classroom not conducive to my condition. It was then that I started googling Special Needs Schools. Vista Nova popped up and my first impressions were coupled with interest and apprehension. The school seemed solely fixed on learners with severe learning barriers and I wondered if this was the right environment for me.
We were fortunate to get an interview with Ms Coosner, the school psychologist and to our joy I was accepted for Grade 10.
And so, I began my 3 year-long journey at Vista Nova. Grade 10 and the weight of the work were challenging. That year, I received an aggregate of over 75% and was truly overjoyed. My disability never once became a hindrance and through the wonderful support system of my peers, teachers and parents, my potential was unleashed. Vista Nova showed me the true meaning of patience, compassion and diversity of people.
Grade 11, presented itself with interesting challenges. I was feeling more confident in my academics and forged great bonds with the Vista Nova community. The school was 100% inclusive and believed all learners were able and so encouraged learners to partake in all activities offered. This was absolutely amazing!
A year passed and here I am, in my final lap of High school. Getting to grade 12, has not been an easy journey but has been definitely worthwhile. With the support I have received and my ability to persevere, I flourished through the challenges faced. At Vista Nova’s prize giving, I received the trophy for Highest Academic achievement but the cherry on top was the Michael Fig award. This award embodies the ethos and values that Vista Nova represents. This was a great honour and I was extremely humbled.
Next year I will be taking a gap year, to regain physical strength and then in 2017, God Willing, I will be studying psychology at UCT.
As I prepare for the final exams, I believe that consistent hard work, determination and perseverance are the keys to success.
The aim is to achieve good results to enable me to pursue my goals. Here’s hoping that I will make my parents and the whole Vista Nova community proud. This will be a small token of my appreciation for the amazing years spent at Vista Nova High school.