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Who I am today is because of what I have experienced before
Fri, Mar 10, 2017 (Source: ZDNFO)
As I look back over the past years of my life, I realized the huge transformation having been a beneficiary of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).

Being a daughter whose parents doesn't give much importance to education is not that easy. My father is so contented with the things we have especially when it comes to our education. If you know how to read, write and comprehend, that would be enough for him, leaving me no chance to pursue my ambition. Because of poverty, my mother became desperate in life because she had to support my seven other siblings, considering that my parents have no stable job. With the difficulties that we experienced in those trying times, my parents, showing no interest to send me to school further, I decided to part ways from my family. Living away from them had never been easy because I encountered even more obstacles.

When I was in my first year in college, I envied students who don’t have to work hard in order to finish their studies because they were provided with full support from their respective parents. When an incident happened that one of my classmates who happened to be a son of a teacher and a businesswoman stopped schooling because his mother died and his father didn't know how to handle life without her, I realized that I am indeed still lucky because as early as 11 years old,I have experienced the ups and downs in life which made me strong and independent.

Eager to pursue my dreams and ambitions, I looked for ways and means to support myself. I was aware of the government scholarships being offered and came across the PESO Manager of Saint Joseph College of Sindangan, Inc. (SJCSI), Zamboanga del Norte who introduced to me to the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), a very notable program of DOLE. With the program, I don’t have to find other means to support my school financial needs. All I need to do was to work hard and be responsible in spite of my hectic schedules. I became a working student at Mrs. Bacusmo’s residence for my daily allowances, board and lodging,while my tuition and miscellaneous fees are shouldered by the school. Being a student assistant, I still managed to be one of the schools’ top achievers. That time, I was already certain that my degree will serve as my ticket to my success.

After I finished my baccalaureate course with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Marketing Management in the said school, Engr. Leonor A. Labadan, the College Dean recommended me to handle a subject of my course and Mrs. Juditha J. Bacusmo, the Registrar recommended me to work as an office encoder and to take charge of the institution’s new computerized system of enrollment under her supervision. Then everything just fell into its proper place.

I have not lived such an easy life. I understand that life is not at all a bed of roses, as it is full of challenges and hardships. Sometimes I wanted to give up but I couldn't, I knew God is always there for me. I am so grateful to Him. He guided, encouraged, motivated, cheered, inspired, pushed, supported and let me live this far.

DOLE, through the SPES program had a slice in the pie which contributed to my success. Thank you so much for the support morally, technically, and financially. The PESO Manager Mr. Edralin M. Deleña of SJCSI and the personnel of DOLE were the instruments in pursuing my dreams which made me who I am now. God Bless and more power to DOLE and SJCSI.

JUNALYN S. ENDRINA

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