Electricity powers many things you might consider basic necessities. It may even be the reason behind how you’re able to read this right now. Many, however, might consider it a luxury.
Bonifacio, or Boni as his friends call him, doesn’t have electricity in his home. His family doesn’t have the money to pay for it, so at night he studies for his college exams and does his homework by a small kerosene lamp.
Boni is 19 years old and lives in the Philippines. He’s in his second year of school studying to become a high school math teacher. He’s been sponsored since he was 5 years old and became an Unbound scholar in 2012, which means he gets extra help for his education through a scholarship.
The family lives without electricity and used to struggle to put food on the table, but Boni is determined to finish his education despite any obstacles he faces.
“The problems and poverty that we encounter in my family will never be a hindrance for me to finish my studies,” Boni said. “Even without electricity, I am studying with the use of a small lamp at night. It will never stop me from reaching my dreams.”
The sponsorship and scholarship help him pay for his tuition, books and school supplies. But the support doesn’t end there.
“Aside from the financial assistance, I really like the way they teach us to be a strong person,” Boni said. “We have a lot of seminars and trainings that mold us to be a true person.”
Boni has done exceedingly well in school. He was a salutatorian in his high school class and was also named best in math, values and social studies. He received more than 20 academic medals in his fourth year in high school. He’s also proud that he’s now in his second year of college fulfilling his dream to become a teacher.
“Teachers are not only [in] a profession to teach the student about the lesson,” he said. “They are also the ones shaping the future of a student.
“There will be no good president, engineers and architects if there are no teachers who will guide them and lead them to these professions.”
Boni lives with his grandmother and spends most of his time in school and studying. In his free time, he leads his scholar group as president.. On weekends, he does community service at the local Unbound office and helps the staff with administrative tasks.
Boni dreams of graduating from college and teaching high school math at the school where he once attended. He wants to show younger students that they, too, can achieve their dreams.
“Never stop doing the right things and never lose hope,” Boni said. … “When we [have reached our dreams] let us not forget to look back and share our blessings to those who are just starting to build their dreams.”