S.Y. 2013-2014, BS Social Work
My family went through many difficulties. When I was in kindergarten, my father suffered from a stroke, and after a few years, he became bedridden. Because of financial lack, my baby sister had to be put up for adoption. My mother was a street food vendor, and I helped her out whenever I could.
With no money or food, I would walk to and from school for about four kilometers. When it rained, I would come home soaking wet because I did not have an umbrella. At times, my classmates would pool their money together to help me.
Throughout high school, I had to take summer jobs to earn money. In college, I had to write to the school’s accounting department so I could pay my tuition in installments. I was called “peanut girl” because I sold peanuts to my classmates to earn a little for my basic needs. When I entered my fourth year in college, that’s when I became a Real LIFE scholar and received the support I needed to focus on my studies and worry less about the lack of finances.
Today, I am a social worker for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Zamboanga, handling cases of adoptions, foster care, children needing special protection, and the rescue of rape victims. In light of the current situation in Mindanao, I have been assigned to Iligan City where victims have been evacuated, and it is now my responsibility to give psychosocial support for the children there.
When I received my new assignment, I hesitated at first, because I felt I was too young for God to place me in a war-torn area. However, God reassured me of His purpose for my life. Now, I am willingly being used by God in Iligan.