Moving underprivileged youth to a SHINING life through college scholarships


by Josie Morales

15 August 2012

I can’t believe it! This is my third year in college pursuing a degree of Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.

Adjustment to college life marked my first year in college. My travel from home to school was very tiresome. I left the house at 6:30 AM, walked 15 minutes to the train station, had a 30 minutes train ride, and another 10 minute walk to the college. I don’t mind the walk, as I am used to it in High School. Since I am going to be a teacher, I know it is important to train myself to always be on time.

I had one unforgettable experience during my first semester of studies:

Our Instructor in English grouped our class to compete in a contest with a theme of “Language and Environment.” During the contest we dressed ourselves with garbage bags and sang the songs related to the environment we composed by ourselves. The judges liked the message of our songs and the costumes we put on. They noticed, however, our lack of actions during the presentation. They were looking for more gestures. The group that won was more active and injected jokes in their presentation, which inspired lot’s of laughter. We did not know jokes would be acceptable! Our lesson learned: know all the criteria set for the contest – a learning experience, indeed.

Most of my classes I enjoyed, but two of my subjects were very difficult for me: Pilipino Language and English. We had to do research and write a thesis. My other classmates had experience doing research in High School, but I did not. I put in extra effort to learn and contribute what I could. When I completed it, I had to defend it and my teacher said I did a good job. I was glad for that encouragement after such a difficult assignment!

I was very frustrated and discouraged after I failed the Pilipino Language Preliminary Exam. My Instructor encouraged me to study harder for the Midterm test. She said I could still make it because I did impressive job defending my thesis. My hard work paid off. I passed the midterm exam and the final!

My second year schedule was different in that my days were very long. My first class started at 7:30 AM and my last class went up until 8:30PM! To put perspective on my situation, I likened myself to the school security guard who opened the gates for the students to enter and closed them after the last one left. This reminded me that I was not the only one having long days.

I made more friends during my second year in college because none of my previous classmates were enrolled in the same courses. Again, it was in the English classes that I struggled, which made me exert more effort and time to studying.

In just three more semesters, I will complete my degree program! I am very grateful to Ate Ali and the supporters of this scholarship program for making it possible for me to go to college, and to Kuya (big brother) Iddo and Teacher Nonie for the guidance they provide me weekly. I want to make everyone proud of what I become in the future after my studies. I am also very thankful to God for this privilege to go to college.

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