A couple of dusty steps decorated by plants on the side will bring you to Novaliza “Nova” Rollon’s house made of bamboo and galvanized iron sheets. A bull’s horns and the day’s laundry greet visitors as you enter the narrow front door, perhaps a preview of what you can expect from this 19-year-old’s life.
Nova has six siblings. The eldest brother is already working and has left the family home, one works with their grandparents as a farmer in Leyte, and the youngest is only one and a half year old.
Twist of Fate or Twist of Faith?
Earning a degree in college could’ve been an impossible dream for Nova given their family situation. The loyal laundry and cleaning service clients of her 46-year-old mother, Narissa Rollon, helped change the course of her life. These loyal clients are members of Handmaids of the Lord who recommended Nova as an ANswering the Cry of the Poor (ANCOP) scholar.
Through ANCOP’s support the past three years, Nova, currently in third year, was able to enroll at Marikina Polytechnic College taking up Certificate in Technology Major in Food and Service Management leading to Bachelor of Technology Major in Food and Service Management. ANCOP pays for Nova’s tuition fee and other school expenses.
Without the financial support extended by ANCOP, the Rollon family will have a difficult time sending Nova to school to pursue her dream of becoming a professional chef and to have her own fine dining restaurant. Her father, 51-year-old Expedito Rollon, only works part-time as a driver/mechanic.
All is well in the Rollon household until one day, in August 2016, an unexpected challenge rocked the boat of their family — Expedito was put behind bars.
“I prayed to God every day, serving every Sunday at the parish church, and as an active member of Youth for Christ (YFC). My trust and belief in God helped me endure this tough time for our family,” says Nova.
In September 2016, her father was released from jail.
Nova’s trust and belief in God enabled her to stay strong during her father’s imprisonment, and to continue believing in her dreams.
She also credits her life mentors, Tita Babes Jalican and Tita Cristy Lutina, for their wise advice about realities in life and for encouraging her to study well.
This inspires Nova to look beyond her graduation in 2018, and look forward to a better life for her family when she becomes a successful chef and restaurateur.
She hopes that her fellow scholars aspire to reach for their dreams too as they face their daily battles: “Keep it up, do your best, achieve your goals, follow your dreams, study hard to make your dreams come true, always pray and have faith in the Lord, stay connected with God, and make your family proud of you.”
As Nova fixes her gaze on a promising future, she never fails to look back to thank her ANCOP sponsors who have been helping her for the past three years.
This is Nova’s grateful message to her sponsors: “Thank you for supporting me and all the scholars. This is a big opportunity. Thanks for your very big heart. May God always bless you and your family. Please never get tired in helping people like us who are in need. I hope you can help other children too.”
By Noemi M. Pamintuan-Jara
Do you want to help other students like Nova? Contact ANCOP today at Landline (+632)709-4868 local 49, Mobile (+63) 915-118-4552, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org to ask about their Education Programs! Read more about ANCOP at cfcancop.org