In time for graduation, many netizens were touched by one working student of Foundation University who briefly narrated his story success on Facebook. He posted his narrative along with pictures, one wearing the traditional “barong” while bringing the ladle. His post conveyed pride in holding the ladle – his partner in earning success for six years as a working student in the University assigned at the cafeteria as a cook.
Johnbert Ramis, who just graduated with the degree, Bachelor of Science in Criminology, is just one of the many working students at Foundation University who are given the chance to earn college education in exchange for services rendered in the various departments and units.
During his high school days in Dawis, Bayawan City – an upland community, Johnbert also was a working student at the convent of Catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Bernardo L. Maquiling while doing service as an acolyte. At the end of his high school journey, he was asked on his interest in going to college. He expressed his desire to the priest but at the back of his mind, he was already thinking of working elsewhere because of the financial constraints that he might encounter in the long run.
Johnbert, as a working student, learned respect and “pakikisama.” This was what he brought along with him as a working student at Foundation University where he was led by the priest to apply after his high school graduation in 2013.
At first, he was assigned as dishwasher at the cafeteria. But when the cook resigned, he literally took the ladle and was trained to become the cook. Johnbert had to wake up early at 4 in the morning to begin cooking for the breakfast menu. Added to that, he had to learn time management in order to meet the requirements of both work and school. Sometimes, there maybe conflicts regarding schedules but Johnbert had to deal with those accordingly.
One hurting moment for him was when his former superior dropped his subjects for a term because he reported upon the day of class resumption for the All Soul’s Day break. It was unforgettable for Johnbert since it was one of his low moments as a working student.
But in the long run, as the years progressed under a new administration, he felt things were going the right way in the institution as work students are now required to serve at least 5 hours in a day, compared to those years when he almost did not sleep due to the work demands.
All the more, he was inspired to carry on with his goal of finishing a college degree because of his colleagues and with the guidance of a new superior, Criselda Lastimoso – who also was a former work student.
At the end of his journey, he is more than grateful to Foundation University for providing opportunities to a dreamer like him who would want to acquire a better future through college education.
“You sow what you reap,” Johnbert said during an interview as he narrated portions of his life as a work student.
Indeed, hard work and perseverance made it possible for a young dreamer, from a financially-challenged family, to get hold not just of a college diploma but also of a better and brighter future ahead.
For decades, Foundation University has been consistent in keeping up with the vision of its esteemed founder, Dr. Vicente G. Sinco as he aspired to build a school to provide equal access to quality education.
(Main Photo by Kristell C. Lagarde)