S.Y. 2010-2011, BS Computer Science
I am Ronnie Chu, a Real LIFE alumnus from Pasig City. I was born and raised in a poor family. I grew up with my mother and stepfather who is a tricycle driver. It was hard for them to send me and my four siblings to school all at once.
In high school, I’d usually walk about three kilometers to get to school, and I seldom ate during breaks because I needed to save my money for projects and other school fees. I envied my classmates who could eat during breaks without worrying about their projects. Sometimes, while walking home, it would dawn on me how mentally drained, physically hungry, and emotionally down I was because of the challenges of studying.
After I graduated from high school, my parents told me that they can only support one college student at a time. Since my eldest sister was already in college, my parents wouldn’t be able to send me to school. But I still wanted to finish my studies, so I decided to become a house boy to a family my mother was babysitting for.
I had to clean their five-storey house, wash their car, and bathe their dog. Whenever I would see my mother taking care of the kids, I wished I could just take care of them instead so she didn’t have to work anymore. It was very difficult to juggle work and studying, but I was still thankful that I could continue my education.
After a year and a half, the family had to let go of some of the hired help. Unfortunately, I was one of those they couldn’t keep, so I had to leave and find another job. I tried applying to fast food restaurants, call centers, tutorial centers, and other vacancies I could find, but none of them hired me. Little did I know, God was preparing me to be part of Real LIFE.
In 2009, I became a Real LIFE scholar, and in 2011 I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science. I am thankful that God allowed me to finish my studies as a Real LIFE scholar.
After I graduated, I was able to send one of my brothers to school. Next to finishing my studies, helping my family send my siblings to school is one of my greatest dreams. When my brother graduated, it was like I graduated again.
One of the things I learned through Real LIFE is leadership. It doesn’t matter what your position is, who gets the credit, or if people deserve to be served. Just serve. What’s important is that you were able to model servanthood to them. When you live out servant leadership, others will follow what you do.
This posture of humility and being ready to serve paved the way for Ronnie to excel and get promoted at work. Today, he is an IT project manager for an international company.
Ronnie and his eldest sister were able to build a house for their family. He also recently bought a car for them. Ronnie is now helping send their youngest sister to college while giving back through Real LIFE.