Testimony by: Lyka Jade Focbit
Nueva Valencia, Guimaras – Parents all over the world have been telling their children this since time immemorial because all of them know the truth, education is hope. Education can bring a person’s goals and dreams to life – an understatement that explains why families work so hard to put each child through school after school.
Nowadays, putting a child through a university is a huge challenge because of very high tuition fees and having to pay for endless requirements, not to mention the daily needs like food, transportation, books, and the like. It’s a predicament that can lead children from lower-income families to stop their studies altogether and set aside their education to preserve the family income. But the struggle doesn’t always win over aspiration. Amidst the many stories of neglect are the story of mine during my younger days, high school, and today. But this time there’s a lot of scholarship offer. Like my story of being one of the products of enjoying the scholarship for almost four years.
I am Lyka Jade Focbit. I was born on the most awesome day of history, August 05, 1997. I came from the humble community of San Antonio Nueva Valencia, Guimaras. I admit we don’t have much. We live in our own house built on bamboo and far away from the road where we can ride a jeepney and motorcycle.
It was just a challenge for us, we always think that walking a kilometer every day from home to school is just an exercise for us. I came from a poor family. My father is a driver and my mother is a housewife. I call myself the best fighter in every challenge that came into my life. I was born poor but I grow rich with love and faithfulness with God.
In the year 2014, I graduated from high school. The day that I need to enroll in college but my parents give up on me, we don’t have enough money to spend on it. That year I began searching for scholarships when I was a junior high school. At that moment I’ve been losing myself to continue college. I take a lot of exams in different schools just to be chosen as one of their scholars but those days turn me into something that I can’t explain. I hated myself for that moment but still, I never give up on finding a scholarship to pursue my dreams in life to have a degree.
This was totally unexpected but thanks to the Extended Student Grand-in Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA) of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) who gave me a reason not to stop dreaming, but to continue the dreams I had. The future I wanted to be for my family and for the future of my own.
But you know, I experienced the best things in life. The best things in life are not free. They are paid with a price. It is called a choice. Scholarships from DSWD have the chance to study in college. I was thankful for the ESGGPA-scholarship which provides a fast and easy way to support my education in college.
ESGPPA program changes my life into something that would help me to become one. Every minute is also an opportunity to be you, be unique. Some of us may have been living behind masks in order to identify ourselves with the majority, in order to look cool because our friends look cool, or in order to be accepted. This is being a conformist living inside the comfort zone. Stepping out of the majority and leaving your comfort zone will open the doors that will let you know better about what you can do and what you can become.
Scholarship from DSWD has provided me with the opportunity that some teenagers take as a luxury, which is education. They have supported my schooling all the way through. On the other hand, my parents are the ones who taught me to persevere for my studies, for maintaining my scholarship and to persevere in order to achieve my dreams and goals in life. I am dreaming to become a successful teacher someday and now this dream is near to come true when I was hired already as a teacher.
This time I continue teaching and choosing the goals and dreams I started. Thank you so much DSWD for the scholarship you’ve offered for me, not just for me but for those people who needed it. God Bless!// (Submitted by Myrna Cordero, ML Nueva Valencia, Guimaras)