For more than 20 years, the School of Life program has allowed girls and women to graduate from High School, vocational schools, or university. More than 80% of the beneficiaries have completed their schooling. So this year again, celebrating the academic victory of our four “dalagitas” (young women in Tagalog) who graduated from Senior High School with honors, and three others who graduated from their Junior High School (still one year to study) was a must! Celebrating it is; celebrating the accomplishment, celebrating the many years of hard work but also celebrating that fate will never have the last word.

“It has always been my dream, from a little girl begging in the street to becoming a young woman academically accomplished. I believe that education will help me have a better living and will open doors of opportunity. It is always a dream for me, but I never imagined that I’d be here at this moment holding my certificate. As the first in our family to have graduated from Junior High School, it means so much to me.

I have two takeaways from all these experiences. The first is to keep courage; dreaming is not enough; if I sleep on my dreams, I will never pass my exam… Dreaming alone is not enough; it must be accompanied by action: taking action and steps in the pursuit of my dreams. Second, patience. Being patient because everything has a process, and that process can be difficult, challenging, and painful at times, but it is up to me to be patient and persevere through it. Not everything I want will happen with a single click of a finger… It takes time.”

*Allysa shared to us how education is important to her.

Today, the academic journey continues… Some will go into universities taking Information Technology System, BS Accountancy and Office Management and Services, others will finish their Senior High school or enter the professional world. How can we not take this opportunity to thank all the sponsors who faithfully support the academic journey of our young women – your generosity has become a lever for success!

“My graduation was really important for me because it was the time to celebrate and recognize all my accomplishments and the hard work that got me here. The problems and obstacles only made me stronger thanks to the help and support of those around me.

I am very thankful to ACAY for granting me a 4-year scholarship. Now I am in my third month studying for a Bachelor of Science in Accountancy. This is my dream! Therefore, I will challenge myself by doing a lot more reading and self-study. I hope to pass my Board Exam and become a Certified Public Accountant”.

*Shane hopes to be a Certified Public Accountant one day.