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There is nothing impossible if one strives to make it happen, says 4Ps graduate

“We might have different stories. I know my life was less dramatic than others. But it is what in our hearts that matter. I never thought I could gain this success, but I know I worked hard for it and I will continue working for it. Poverty might hinder someone to succeed, but the road to success has towers of hope and tunnels of opportunities to keep me going,” says Glena Berondo, a lass from Brgy. Guadalupe, Carmen, Bohol, as she reflects on her journey as a student.

Glena said that her story is just one of the many stories of students who painstakingly pursue their education and she hopes it could inspire others especially those who are losing hope to follow their dreams and believe that there is nothing impossible if they will strive to make it happen.

Glena Berondo in her graduation photo.

“When you achieve your dreams, always remember to look back all the people who has been part of your success. The universe will indeed conspire to make your dreams happen, but sometimes it is through others help,” Glena underscored.

She grew up in a family where single penny matters. She was raised by her parents with the appreciation of the little blessings they had in their home.

Simple ra gyud and among kinabuhi sa una ug simple ra pud ang among mga pangandoy (Our life was simple back then and so my dreams in life),” added Glena.

Glena recalls during her elementary days when she sells “balikutsa” in school in order to have an allowance and she could share it with her siblings. Balikutsa is a native candy made of mascovado and coconut milk.

Ang akong mga ginigakanan kay mumata og sayo aron makapaninda og mga snacks sa eskwelahan para sa among inadlaw nga galastuhan. Nagdako ko nga nakita ang ilang kakugi ug pag-antos miskin paman sa kalisud sa among kinabuhi (My parents will wake up early in the morning to sell snacks in school for our daily expenses. I grew up seeing their hard work and sacrifice amidst our hardship in life),” Glena said with nostalgia in her mind.

Glena’s father is a farmer and her mother is a housewife.

Upat mi ka magsuon ug ang among ginikanan gitinguha gyud nga mapaeskwela ming tanan (We are four siblings and our parents were determined to send us all in school),” she added.

When she was still in elementary, Glena realized that one’s economic status could influence his or her future in life.

“Since my parents were afraid to send my sister in college for financial reasons and because my mother was pregnant at that time, my sister was forced to stop her studies and just find a job. Opportunities for high school graduates are really different from others who earned a degree in college. So I realized at that time, educational attainment really matters,” Glena said in dialect.

As a proof of her determination and perseverance in pursuit of her studies, Glena graduated valedictorian in elementary and was given the privilege to be a scholar in high school.

“It was in my high school years when we were included in the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program or 4Ps of the national government,” she recalled.

According to Glena, the program helped them a lot in many aspects of their life.

Kini nga program nakatabang sa mga labing nagkinahanglan nga pamilya sama namo. Pinaagi ni ini, ni arang-arang ang among kahimtang ug kini nakatabang og dako sa mga estudyante (This program helped many less-privileged families like ours. Through this, our situation as family has become better and it helps a lot especially for students),” Glena passionately said.

Nakatabang kini sa pagpalit sa akong mga school supplies ug kung adunay school project makagahin si mama og hatag nako (It helped in purchasing my needs for school supplies and if there is a school project my mother could spare some money for me),” Glena said.

When Glena graduated in high school as fourth honorable mention in 2014, she persistently looked for all possible scholarships so that she could pursue her education in college since her parents are not that financially capable to support her.

“Since we are partner-beneficiaries of 4Ps, I took an examination so that I could be a grantee of Commission on Higher Education’s (CHEd) Expanded Students Grants-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) and luckily I ranked as number one in the list of the grantees who took entrance exam in the state university,” Glena happily recalled.

“Indeed, God works in very mysterious ways. He granted me things more than I deserved and I took up Bachelor in Secondary Education Major in English in Bohol Island State University (BISU) Bilar Campus,” she added.

“It was really an amazing journey and with this opportunity given to me as one of the grantees, I was able to finish my studies with flying colors,” Glena beamed with pride as she graduated Cum Laude.

Glena beams with happines as she poses for posterity with her proud parents during her graduation day.

She said she will be forever indebted to the program since it is the main reason why she was able to finish her degree.

Gitagaan mi binuwan nga allowance, free tuition ug book allowance kada semester. Mas napadali o napasayun ang among pageskwela kay dili naman mi magkalisud pangita kung asa mi mukuha og kwarta para sa among mga school expenses (We were given monthly allowance, free tuition and book allowance every semester. It made our journey as students smooth and easy since we will not have a hard time in looking for money for our school expenses),” she said matter-of-factly.

“So, it is our liability if we will use it selfishly and recklessly. It is just an opportunity given once. Thus, I told myself that I should take good care of it,” Glena added.

With the degree Glena gained through the help of the government, she can now help her family since she was the first child who had finished college.

“Many are deprived to quality education or worst to education itself. But as someone who believe of what education can do, I want to encourage everyone to take it as a challenge and to prove that poverty can never beat hard work and perseverance,” Glena said as she starts her teaching career profession in St. Anthony Academy in Carmen, Bohol. ###

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