Alumni Spotlight

Our Alumni on the Front Lines of COVID-19: Lesedi’s Story

Lesedi, a Dell Young Leaders alum from the Class of 2018, is one of the many healthcare workers across the country on the front lines of COVID-19. While there currently have been no cases of COVID-19 in the hospital she works at, many of her peers have already turned to Lesedi for emotional leadership as they struggle with their own feelings of panic and uncertainty.

As a radiographer, Lesedi’s role is crucial as X-rays are one of the ways to determine whether patients have COVID-19. Yet for Lesedi, the circumstances around COVID-19 are an extension of her daily work, which is not already without risk.

“I tell my peers that you chose the health profession and it’s tough. Even if it’s not corona patients we deal with patients with highly infectious and dangerous diseases on a daily basis, patients with TB, HIV, etc.,” Lesedi said. “The one thing you have to remind yourself over and over is that you chose this profession.”

At the same time, the opportunity to play a crucial role in the global COVID-19 crisis reaffirms Lesedi’s decision to work in the health industry – a decision she sees as a calling.

“It’s the first time that we get to experience the real challenge of being a health worker in a rural area. It just gives me that adrenaline to let me know that this is it and I want to take part in this global health crisis,” Lesedi said. “We took an oath to say that no matter the challenges, we chose this and for me it was a calling to be here. The passion for healthcare starts to show when things are difficult. You start remembering why you chose this occupation.”

Lesedi attributes her resilient mindset and positive attitude in the face of uncertainty to both her undergraduate training as a health professional as well as her experience as a Dell Young Leader.

“Being a Dell Young Leader taught us about time management, how to handle the pressure and how to get ready to work in such environments. Some symposiums where they gave us case studies, forced us to think under pressure and meet new people, it really has made a big difference,” Lesedi said. “I see some colleagues are stressed and not coping because they never prepared themselves for these kinds of challenges. They ask me how are you calm? My calmness now in all these things really comes from the preparation that I got as a Dell Young Leader.”

The Dell Young Leaders program is about developing young future leaders who will make an impact in their professional industries and in their communities. By equipping Dell Young Leaders with interpersonal skills and a persistence mentality, we ensure that young people continue to be at the forefront of the change they want to see in the world.