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Twelve year old Mariana de Sousa is the first recruited Rockstar Girl and also the amazing little girl who inspired the idea of this foundation. 

Mariana is from an impoverished Philippi township in Cape Town, called Marcus Garvey.   She used to attend Holy Cross Primary School, an under-resourced state school where the level of education is poor compared to that of the smaller private and semi-private schools. 

After a chance meeting with the socially conscious Julie Martin, Mariana was introduced to the possibility of attending one of the best schools in Cape Town.  In May 2009 she was accepted by Rustenburg Girls Junior School, but still lacked the necessary funds at the time.  Adriaan Pienaar (aka Adii Rockstar) heard about Mariana's story and offered to fund her school fees in his own capacity.  It was after this act of kindness that Adii decided to start a foundation that could help other bright and gifted young girls like Mariana. The Rockstar Foundation was born. 

Adapting  to this new academically orientated environment posed to be far more challenging than what anyone expected.  The standard and level of education which Mariana received at Holy Cross Primary was nowhere near that of what her Grade 6 classmates were used to at Rustenburg Girls Junior.  She was entered in the middel of a school year, which complicated matters even more.

Interestingly, Grade 6 is considered to be "old" to make this enormous change from a disadvantaged school to an academically orientated school.  However, Rustenburg took on the challenge in spite of this fact.  It is for this reason that The Rockstar Foundation now only recruits girls from Grade 3 and Grade 4.  At this age the difference in the level of education is still relatively easy to overcome.  If a child is much older, it becomes near impossible to close this significant gap and a child can grow frustrated and demotivated.

When Mariana was eventually recruited by The Rockstar Foundation in September 2009, it was clear that initially she would need a lot of support in the form of extra classes and even therapy by an Educational Psychologist.  She is an exceptionally bright young girl who, due to her circumstances, now has to overcome massive challenges.   To give Mariana a fair chance and to let her find her feet at the new school, Rustenburg Junior School and The Rockstar Foundation decided to let her repeat Grade 6 in 2010.  What is most inspiring about this little girl is her willingness to work hard and put in the extra effort to achieve her goals, despite any setbacks.

Mariana needs secured funding for her entire education:

Rustenburg Girls Junior School,  Rustenburg Girls High School and also her tertiary education at one of the top South African Universities where she wants to study law one day.