Meet the chemistry lecturer cycling 600km to raise funds for struggling students

Posted on 2 April 2024 By Savanna Douglas

A chemistry lecturer from Stellenbosch has turned her passion into power over Easter weekend, cycling 600km to raise funds for struggling students at Stellenbosch University.

Dr Marietjie Lutz, a chemistry lecturer at Stellenbosch University, has put her passion for cycling to the pedal, as she reaches the second last leg of her cycling journey from George to Stellenbosch to raise funds to further tertiary education for committed students who are struggling to keep up with finances.

Dr. Lutz’s ‘Wheels of Opportunity: Cycling for Student Support’ fundraiser has seen her ride her wheels through the gravel roads of Oudtshoorn, Calitzdorp, Riversdal, Swellendam and Greyton over Easter weekend.

Currently, Dr Lutz is on the second last leg of her 600 km cycling journey to raise R60 000 for struggling students.

The seed was first planted in 2022 when Dr Lutz’ crossed paths with a remarkable first-year BSc Chemistry and Polymer Science student on the brink of homelessness and food insecurity. Despite facing immense financial stress, this determined student “excelled academically, demonstrating resilience and determination.”

This sparked a lightbulb moment for Dr Lutz, who was touched by the student’s remarkable resilience in the face of adversity.

“As a Chemistry lecturer, I found myself deeply moved by this student’s plight, inspiring me to extend my efforts beyond the confines of the classroom and embark on a mission to empower students who, like him, are committed to their studies but lack the necessary financial resources to pursue their academic aspirations.”

Fast forward to 2024, where Dr Lutz, along with her husband, four children, and all those willing to rally behind the cause, are cycling to raise funds for Wheels of Opportunity over Easter Weekend. For every kilometer cycled, the chemistry lecturer aims to raise R600 for struggling students, with the goal of reaching R60,000 in total.

On completion of day four of the journey, Wheels of Opportunity amassed over R15,000 in donations for struggling students, covering 26% of Dr. Lutz’s overall goal.

Dr Lutz has kept followers and those who have contributed towards the fundraiser abreast on social media. On Sunday, four days into her trek, she wrote:

“Tired, but blessed. Blessed with fine weather, magnificent views, an amazing team, and the campaign reaching R23 000! Blessed to have the opportunity to be able to make a difference to someone else’s future. Blessed to have the support of family and friends throughout this incredible journey. And blessed to have duct tape available for my tired shoe.”

With two more days of cycling ahead of Dr. Lutz and the team rallying behind her, there’s still time to make a donation and better the lives of students who are excelling but can’t afford to cover their tertiary education fees alone.

Simply visit the Given Gain page set up by Dr Lutz to find out how you can contribute. 

“Your contribution holds the power to make a significant impact, offering vital financial support to help these students overcome obstacles and fulfill their aspirations. Join me on this inspiring journey and contribute to our cause. Together, let’s pedal for dreams and pave the way for a brighter future through education.”

Article shared by Woman&Home.

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