LANCE ANDREI DE JESUS
GRATEFUL STUDENT LEADER
A 4 to 5 kilometer walk doesn’t stop Lance Andrei De Jesus of Occidental Mindoro in attending school and pursuing being an educator someday. He has a penchant for teaching young minds and he gains sense of fulfillment whenever someone would learn something from him. This is the reason why he chose to take Bachelor of Elementary Education as his degree.
Lance is a current fourth-year college student at Occidental Mindoro State College. His father is a government employee and the remuneration from his work sustains their daily needs. Lance narrated that aside from walking from home to school at times, he also experienced presenting promissory notes to the cashier just to have an examination permit. It did not happen once but thrice; twice when he was in his first year and once when he was a sophomore student. He was even counseled by their Campus Director that he is not allowed to present promissory notes for the next terms.
What changed his situation is when he decided to be active in Youth for Christ. He served as a facilitator in a youth camp and from there, a CFC coordinator approached and asked him several questions about his life and how his father supports their family. He was also asked to fill his name in the paper handed to him.
His first time in serving after being inactive for several years unfolded the Lord’s surprises. He did not except that his “yes” to serve a youth camp will pave way for him to be an ANCOP scholar. It was also the time that he realized that the Lord has always been reaching out to him and it is just a matter of reaching out to Him too.
The 19 years old student leader and now Provincial youth head of YFC Occidental Mindoro also shares that since he was an elementary student, he strives hard to earn an award at the end of the school year, which eventually became a habit until he became a college student. Lance also conveyed that now that he is in college, he did not just focus on what can be learned inside the four corners of the classroom for he wants to challenge himself. He narrated “I experienced, and still experiencing being a student leader; Vice president of the English club, Vice-mayor of the department, Sports editor of the publication and a board member of the Supreme Student Government… Watchful pa rin po ako sa grades ko kasi I have to maintain a good grade for my scholarship and to also stay on the Campus Director’s list.” (… I am still watchful in my grades because I have to maintain a good grade for my scholarship and also to stay on the Campus Director’s list)
The sudden turn of events for Lance creates a big motivation for him to pursue his dreams. He is achieving these by having his family as his inspiration. He added that his family is included in all his dreams and he wants them to feel what he had achieved for them. But above all, his greatest dream is to have a joyful life with acceptance. He said, “Kasi given na talaga na makakaranas ng hirap, pangarap ko rin na makaahon kami sa hirap, pero kung walang acceptance kung anong ibigay ng Diyos, hinding hindi kami magiging mayaman.” (It is already given that we will experience hardships. My dream is also to eradicate us from poverty, but if there will be no acceptance of what the Lord will give, it will never happen)
Now, Lance is grateful to, what he considered, the biggest blessing of his life. He said, “I am giving my greatest gratitude to the Lord for blessing me with my ANCOP Sponsor. Without them, I wouldn’t have been able to be where I am right now… I will forever pray that the Lord touch more hearts to act the way you do for those who are in need.”
Lastly, he shared that his journey is a big reminder to him that God will not let us by ourselves. His prayers are with and for the welfare of his family and loved ones, for his studies and for the people who helped him and who are always ready to lend a hand. He also prays that the Lord’s will be done in his life.
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BETTER THAN BEFORE
Mangyan, the collective name for the eight indigenous groups in Mindoro, covers ten percent of the island's population. They are said to be living in peaceful societies compared to other tribes. In history, Mangyans were living in the coastal areas of Mindoro until colonizers arrived and settled on their lands. They gave up their land to avoid clashes with the migrants and move to the mountains. They only came down then for food and other necessities.