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“Don’t follow your dreams, follow your strengths,” 18-year-old Chad Himlock – a top performing IEB matriculant at Crawford College Sandton – has advised.

“It is all well and good if you want to be a singer, but if your maths mark is stronger than your singing it would be a shame giving up on maths.”

Himlock earned nine distinctions, making him the third top performing matriculant at Crawford College Sandton.

“I suppose I actually didn’t think I did so well because the papers didn’t feel easy – specifically the Afrikaans and Physics papers were difficult. So, I am a bit surprised by [my] results.”

He credits his mother Penny for motiving him to achieve academically.

“Her expectations are what motived me to achieve and go past what she expected,” Himlock said.

Speaking to News24, Penny said she was “extremely proud” of her son’s results.

“He’s been moving against the trend. Where others have been deteriorating [academically] as they get into higher grades, he’s been getting higher and higher grades,” Penny said.

“He is an extremely hard worker, plus the drive for success made sure he was disciplined and worked diligently.”

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She advised other parents “to keep their children focused” if they want them to excel academically.

“It needs to start from years before matric where you basically remind them of the prize at the end of the day. The opportunities which lay ahead, if they achieve academically.”

“Fatigue was particularly something to watch out with Chad, so I had to make sure he remains focused on maintaining good marks to get accepted into universities where he’d like to study.”

He plans on studying medicine at either the University of Witwatersrand or the University of Cape Town.

“I am planning on studying medicine for a year and then [to] possibly go into biomedical engineering,” Himlock said.

“But, as for now, I am going to try to make the best of my last few days of holiday.”

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