Jia Patel awarded White Blazer at Durban Girls College

From left to right - Prabhir, Jia, Kashmita and Zamir Patel. Picture: Supplied

From left to right - Prabhir, Jia, Kashmita and Zamir Patel. Picture: Supplied

Published Apr 25, 2024


MUSGRAVE teenager, Jia Patel, made history when she recently became one of only six recipients ever to be awarded the esteemed White Blazer, at Durban Girls College, for her outstanding achievements in academics, culture and service.

Patel, 18, described herself as a hard worker with an exceptional work ethic, which she used to reach her goals. She said she was a sociable person and enjoyed spending quality times with her family and friends.

Last year, she achieved a 95% aggregate for her grade 11 results. The requirement for an honours pass is 85%.

“In service, we had to accumulate 250 hours – either in community service or in-school service. For culture, I did music which is measured in points. I achieved this by playing the piano and I am also in our school’s Marimba band.

Jia Patel. Picture: Supplied

“It is honestly an indescribable feeling being awarded the white blazer. I am honoured as this recognition is highly celebrated and recognised by the Durban Girls College community. It is also a very proud moment to be recognised for my efforts and perseverance,” said Patel.

A White Blazer, the top award at Durban Girls’ College, is presented to a girl who has achieved honours in three of four categories - academics, culture, service or sport.

Only six white blazers have been awarded over the past 30 years. The recipients include Kim MacNeillie in 1994, Sarah Pudifin in 2002, Melissa Corfe in 2003, Amy Schaap in 2015, Cenelle Gounden in 2018, and Sarah Sparks in 2022.

In a statement, the school said: “We are very pleased to announce that Jia Patel, Grade 12, was awarded the White Blazer in Assembly, on April 16, by the chair of the Board of Governors, Karen Jones.”

Patel said: “I prioritize my time management and organisational skills. Being involved in a lot of things creates a very busy schedule, so I create timetables to juggle my workload effectively.”

Her other notable achievements include receiving the Dux award in grades seven and nine. Last year, she was the top grade eleven pupil.

“In music, I have been placed in the top one and two, in the school’s music competition for playing piano and for Marimba, we won the American Contemporary Festival. I also do classical Indian dancing – Kathak – and received a level four distinction in my exam for that. I also do first aid and I have my level two certificate.”

Patel said her family – parents, brother and grandmother – was extremely proud of her.

“I am so grateful to be surrounded by such encouraging people, including my friends and teachers. They made me feel so special after I got this award, by standing up and cheering for me,” she said.

In preparation for matric exams, Patel said she had acquired good study skills over the years and would continue in that stead to achieve the best results possible.

The subjects she has chosen are English, Afrikaans, pure Mathematics, Physical Science, Accounting, History, Life Orientation and further studies Mathematics.

Patel aims to pursue a career in Actuarial Science next year.