Hard work and determination can go a long way. But if given an opportunity, opens a lot of doors in making things happen as the case of one simple girl who is now working towards achieving her dreams.
Cherry Vergara, 20, lives with her parents and five siblings in their humble abode in Palawan. A true-born and raised gal from Narra, Cherry studied elementary and high school in the said municipality with honors. She even graduated as Salutatorian in high school.
The closest university to them is in the neighboring municipality of Aborlan. She has to travel for an hour to get to Western Philippines University – Aborlan. With the goal to uplift their family, Cherry graduated as a cum laude this April 2016 who took up Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education.
Cherry is never discouraged despite poverty seeming to pull them down. With faith and hope, “Pinapasa-Diyos ko na lang po kapag may mga pangangailangan ako lalo na sa pinansyal at ayon nga po nagugulat na lang po ako nandiyan na po ang solusyon,” recalls Cherry.
The family does not have much. Her father, Noli, is a farmer and works as part-time electrician while her mother, Charity, sells rice cakes. They are thankful that they have the Pantawid Pamilya program that aides them especially for the children’s needs in school.
As for Cherry, she is grateful to have become one of the beneficiaries of the Expanded Students’ Grants-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGPPA). “Malaking-malaki po talaga ang pasasalamat ko po sa DSWD kasi kumbaga imbes na maghahanap pa ako ng pambayad sa school ay mag-aaral na lang po ako,” says Cherry.
ESGPPA is a program of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and State Universities and Colleges (SUCs) that provides scholarships to beneficiaries of Pantawid Pamilya. Beneficiaries will receive a maximum of Php60,000 for tuition fee, textbooks/learning materials and allowance (transportation, board and lodging and other school supplies). Cherry is thankful for the opportunity that paved way towards achieving her dreams. “Nagpapasalamat ako kasi naging daan ang DSWD na makapagtapos po ako ng pag-aaral,” utters Cherry.
She is currently reviewing in Puerto Princesa City for the Licensure Exam for Teachers (LET) on September this year. Now that Cherry has graduated, she wishes that the chance given to her will be given to other poor families and children as well. They just have to never lose hope, believe that they can and work hard as to not waste the opportunity given to them. ###
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