This post was written by Ayron Paige Gallop, an AFS student from South Africa on exchange in Brazil. Ayron is one of the young deserving students who received the 2017 Investing in Africa’s Future Leaders scholarship to participate in a year-long school exchange programme with AFS.


I am Ayron Paige Gallop from Cape Town, South Africa. I am 16 years old and an exchange student in Brazil. I am a very active person who loves to be outside using all my energy to discover new things. I am very compassionate and patient, love to help others. I have a huge passion for teaching and helping others understand, whether it be school work, about my country or something more simple.

I thoroughly enjoy adventure and never ever back away from a challenge, if I see a possibility of failure, I shift into overdrive until I am successful. Sports play a huge part in my life and I cannot go a week without some very good exercise.

My love for adventure and sheer will to take on every challenge is what motivated me to take part in this experience. About a year and a half ago two students in my school returned from the United States and how they spoke about how wonderful and life changing their experience was compelled me to to apply and finding out that I was selected was exhilarating.

In this year my goals are to grow as a person, discover who I really am without the pressure of what my family wants for me. I want to to a learn a new language, new culture and discover what is out there other than what I see in my own country. I want to learn how to be strong, independent and capable of making my own choices with confidence.

To my knowledge, South Africa is only known for having people with dark skin and wild animals roam the streets. I want to share the truth! Teach our history, various languages, diverse cultures, traditions and everything else I know.

This is a chance for me to take charge and be me!