Roque Joaquin thumbs through the list of passers posted on a university bulletin board. Four days ago, he was sure he nailed the qualifying interview for the scholarships given to aspiring college freshmen for marine courses.
Not finding his name, he felt his whole world come apart. “I would disappoint my family,” he told himself. And it was the last thing he would ever do to his parents.
He was down on his luck. His only chance to get a college scholarship just gave out. His high school may have prepared him for the road ahead, but not for some unexpected turns.
Being a middle child in a brood of 9, Roque felt the urge to step up to get into an affordable college education. His mother’s income being a parking aide and his father’s food peddling business can barely support all of them.
Then, he remembered a prayer card given by his sister Aya. It was a stampita of Blessed Álvaro del Portillo. He prayed for some intervention. He got more in return.
Roque’s request was simple—that he may find a school where he can continue his formation. He found CITE. Better said, CITE found him among the examinees from Sisters of Mary-Boystown who took the admission test in 2014.
Now a graduating student of Electromechanics Technology, Roque secures a consistent spot in the honors list and rakes in academic awards from a slew of skills competitions in the school. He also spends his vacant time tutoring some of his classmates and doing voluntary work at the school library after class hours.
He holds a Level 2 certification in Machining and had worked in between jobs last summer to pay for assessment in Electrical Installation and Maintenance.
“I want to become an Electrical Engineer for an international ship,” he said.
His academic feat earned him a scholarship from an alumnus, Custer Arañas, who sees his potential to succeed. Custer helps pay for his boarding house and school supplies. Meeting Custer for the first time was an experience he can’t forget.
“I was very happy that I finally met my grantor. He was inspiring and he told me to pursue my dreams despite all the difficulties.”
Roque’s future looks bright and he will do well if he keeps his values in check. If ever asked to draw a list of his own, Roque would jot down prayer, discipline, and hardwork in that order. If followed, said he, the result will not at all be disappointing.