by njelyn T. Batalas
“Poverty is not the hindrance to success.” This saying is ingrained in my mind and inculcated in my heart; gives me encouragement amidst difficulties and hardships; and above all, brings a great influence in the pursuit of my dreams and aspirations. Notwithstanding the storms I have encountered, I was determined to achieve my goals of earning my degree which I have patiently been longing for so long.
I grew up to be a farmer’s daughter and the eldest among 7 siblings. Being the eldest means carrying many responsibilities on my shoulder for myself and for my entire family. I wanted to help my parents and my younger siblings in the future. This motivated me to finish my degree. Being far from my family who are in Agusan Del Norte, I persevered to combat loneliness and adjusted well in my new environment as a student in a world-renowned institution in Iligan City. I could remember times when I dined together with my family and had lively conversations with them despite little food to partake.
During my first year in MSU-IIT, I availed free tuition fees, but hardly met my needs due to expensive workbooks and other miscellaneous. I almost gave up but by the grace of God, I constantly renewed my strength to continue schooling. When I reached 3rd year college, my mother got ill. One of my sisters was graduating in high school at that time, and six of us were still schooling. Consequently my parents opted that I stop even if I availed free tuition because of financial constraints. They could not afford to support my daily needs, monthly boardinghouse rent, and school requirements.
“It did not dampen my spirit and instead of quitting, I found ways to provide for myself daily sustenance”
However, it did not dampen my spirit and instead of quitting, I found ways to provide for myself daily sustenance and for my academic requirements. By the help of God, I resorted to entrepreneurial through selling some items like detergent, nescafe, milo, fish crackers, nova and choco balls to my boardmates. Seeing my determination, my parents approved of continuing my studies and they had supported me through lending some money with high interest in order to wire some money to me. Incidentally, AIITAFI Scholarship opened doors to the many hopefuls. I confidently applied and luckily passed. AIITAFI’s financial assistance is such a big help to me. It supported me when I was finishing my thesis, and most especially at times when I had nothing to eat.
Apart from financial assistance, scholars gained good friendship with fellow scholars whose lives had been touched. The officers of AIITAFI gave profound assistance and shared knowledge that fueled my desire to reach my dream. I had beautiful experiences and learning which I will treasure. Because of AIITAFI scholarship, I am now a graduating student with the degree of Bachelor of Secondary Education, major in Math. I am forever grateful to the men and women behind AIITAFI. I salute you!
To sponsor an alumni scholar, please contact any AIITAFI officer or visit the MSU-IIT Bahay Alumni at the CED grounds. You may contact AIITAFI at 221-4599 and look for Dexie or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org