A Look Back in the Life of a Sponsored Youth

by Anthony Lorcha
Communications Coordinator
Children International- CSCDI Legazpi 

Every youth graduating from the sponsorship program feels pride and honor when they look back to their lives as a sponsored child.

Ace Kevin Amarga, 20, is one the sponsored youth who thanks the sponsorship program for the significant things that happened in his life. As a graduate of the sponsorship program, he clearly remembers the valuable experiences that he had.

He was active as a sponsored youth and participated in so many activities. He considers the Youth Leadership Training (YLT) as one of the activities that bolstered his potentials as youth leader.

“My involvement in the Youth Program as a facilitator and a youth advocate for community service provided me with real life skills and leadership edge, which are truly useful in my quest towards gaining excellence in my professional career,” says Ace Kevin.

He was also proud of having received a HOPE Scholarship. “The HOPE Scholarship helped me so much in obtaining my degree in BS Biology,” he says.

He adds, “Because of HOPE, it has become easy for my parents to support my studies and they have stood with me until I earned my college degree.”

As a scholar, Ace Kevin received incentives for tuition fees, meals, books and transportation allowances. He graduated from Bicol University College of Science and has received the College Best Thesis Award during his graduation in March 2011.

He says, “It has given me great joy when I finally received my college diploma because I believe that it would be the start of an exciting journey in my professional life.”

Also, having received the Best Thesis Award has opened doors for Ace Kevin to share it with other students in other parts of the country. He was invited as a Resource Speaker in the 4th National Scientific Meeting of Philippine Society of Parasitology in De La Salle University Manila, where he discussed the contents of his thesis. He was also invited to present his thesis in 20th National Convention of Wildlife Conservation Society of the Philippines in Siliman University, Dumaguete City. 

Two weeks after graduating in college, he received an offer to work as a Volunteer Demonstrator for Wildlife Biology Survey Techniques in University of the Philippines Los Baños Museum of Natural History, Laguna. He only stayed there for two months because his superior recommended him for a full time job as a Research Assistant in the Fish Based Information and Research Group based in International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), Laguna. This is a joint research project of the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada and the World Fish Center in Malaysia.

When asked about his present job, Ace Kevin says that he was very happy when he was invited to work for the research group and he is very enthusiastic in completing the research projects assigned to him.

“I feel very fortunate having reached this stage in my life because of the help of the sponsorship program. Children International has helped me develop to become a truly healthy, educated and self-reliant young adult,” Ace Kevin says.

Now, Ace Kevin is proud to say that he is also helping his family with their basic needs at home. As the eldest among the seven (7) siblings in the family, he also assists his parents in sending his younger brothers and sisters to a regular school. He sends money to his family to provide for their educational needs and other daily allowances.

“I have experienced to live a difficult life situation that is why I persevered to finish my schooling. I thought that it’s the only way out to help my family alleviate from poverty,” he says.

He adds, “CI has played a great part in sustaining that dream and enthusiasm and I thank my sponsor for the support in my educational, health and material needs during my stay in the sponsorship program.”

Ace Kevin, a young professional biologist, plans to pursue his Master of Science in Wildlife Biology as a scholar in University of the Philippines and later on, earn his doctorate in Zoology.

As Ace Kevin looks back in his life as a sponsored child, he wishes that more children would continue to receive the blessings of sponsorship program because he believes that it creates positive change in the lives of sponsored children.

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