The CFCA project in Legazpi, Philippines, recently sent us success stories from young adults who were sponsored through CFCA. Here’s one from Carmencita, a former sponsored youth who has graduated from the program.
It never came to me to dream of being a nurse. It just happened unexpectedly; perhaps it’s God’s will.
I was the youngest and only girl in the family, but was not raised to pursue whatever I wanted.
I was raised by my mother who was always in a state of worry over everyday needs. Three children were in school and her two frail siblings (both now are with our Heavenly Father) needed to be fed and clothed continually.
I was 1 when my father died of an undiagnosed disease, and the enormous responsibility of raising all of us fell on my mother’s shoulders.
Thus, new clothes and buying two pencils at a time were only ways of extravagance for my family. Life was not that easy for us.
Like other children, I studied hard because of the rewards I earned from my mother. She would buy a piece of cloth from her meager income every end of the school year when I was a consistent honor pupil, and made it into a nice dress for myself.
I started believing that through studying, one piece of cloth could become throngs of fabulous dresses in a wardrobe. That a single pencil I had could be a whole box of pencils. And that we would no longer worry over everything within our house.
I remember going to school without a thing in my pocket. I only had a bottle of water warmed by the sun to satisfy my dry mouth.
I was in high school when I had to sell my mother’s homemade “biko” (sticky rice) to pay for school projects and some personal needs.
To keep from asking our mother for every little need, my closest friend and I used to sell peanuts, sandwiches and peas in school.
I was in the second year of high school when CFCA came into my life. It served as my mother’s partner in sending me to school and providing my needs.
I graduated high school and eventually chose to pursue a bachelor’s degree in nursing. But the calling challenged us a lot.
Though I was enrolled in a government school, the fees were still too high, considering that I could not even have extra pencils during my primary and secondary school.
Fortunately, despite all the trials, I became a CFCA service scholar. I was able to obtain another two scholarships. I used the monthly grant from CFCA for my daily school expenses.
But still, I could not meet all of my needs. I had to go to school, then the CFCA office after class to complete the number of hours of service required, then tutor two children waiting for me at home.
Then I had to prepare my own homework, study for the next day’s exam until past midnight, and wake up early to go to school the next day.
It had been a cycle, and my body probably reached its extent. It was really hard, but I thought I had no right to complain.
In school, I was no head-turner. I usually wore my only two sets of school uniforms, which lasted all four years of college.
I also alternated between my newly brushed slippers and a pair of black shoes, which I only had in my third year.
That was because aside from not being comfortable wearing the shoes, I was afraid of damaging them, for I had no extra shoes if there were special events in school.
Also, I reached my fourth year without the books I needed in my nursing course, for they cost as much as my tuition fees. I borrowed books from my classmates.
Sometimes I could not complete my homework as I had no books. I had to cram for the exam once I got to school, and pass it late.
Now I have graduated college, what I had always prayed for night and day. I am facing a new world, the real one.
I know I am still very young. I have all the chances to dream, and I will focus on my calling. Who knows? God has a very special plan for me in this field. Moreover, someday, I will be able to treat myself to a box of pencils.
Before I end, let me be thankful for CFCA, which helped me reach this greatest goal of mine. I thank my former sponsors for being generous and kindhearted.
Let me end with a simple quote by Bernadette Devlin: “Yesterday I dared to struggle. Today I dare to win.”