Hi. I’m Clifford Jay, and this is my story.
Back then, I was a 10 year-old kid who loved to play all the time with my own handmade toys. I didn’t care what other people did. I had my own world, I hadmy toys, and I had my life. I have 4 siblings and amazingly, we are all boys! That’s what other people find funny about our family. My father worked as a Salesman at a private company and supported our family in all our needs. My father didn’t earn much and mother didn’t have a job. It is for this reason, that we sometimes lacked money for our basic necessities like food. Sometimes, my parents could not pay our bills, causing our electrical and water connections to be disconnected. Those were the times, when my brothers and I thought that everything was just normal. But after sometime, I realized that it wasn’t. With this concerns in our family, I decided not to ask for things like toys from my parents. Because of this, my brothers and I learned to be contented with what we had. Just like my brothers, as young as we were, we could already understand what life was all about.
At the time when I reached high school, I was terrified of the possibility that I might stop schooling. It was also during high school when all expenses increased including fare expenses, tuition fees, and all other fees. My father tried to work harder just to balance all our needs. It was also at that time when, we realized how important our father was to us. But something dreadful and unforeseen happened. My father was diagnosed with Hepatitis A and died a few months later.It was really heart-breaking. After his death, the future just seemed so uncertain.
Our life had really changed after my father died. We rarely had 3 meals a day back then, we didn’t have money for fare to school that is why we walked 3 kilometres daily just to get to school. We also experienced no electricity and water for 3 straight years, and lived like nothing was left to us, even hope. One day, a classmate of my elder brother gave him an opportunity to continue his studies for as long as he would work as a house boy in their home. He accepted the offer and temporarily left our house. I too, experienced the same thing; I was supported by a family for my school expenses, except tuition fees.My brothers and I never stopped studying despite the circumstances. Through hard work and perseverance, we finished high school. It was one of the most memorable part of our lives.
Now, I am taking up Bachelor of Science Major in Computer Engineering.I am happy and blessed to be given the chance to be a part of a prestigious school like theAteneo De Zamboanga University. My dream of getting a college degree and studying in the Ateneo was made possible because of the ADZU Birthday Scholarship Fund which helped me with my tuition.
Today, our family is living in a place where problems, like rental payments, school projects, and fares do not exist. My siblings and I do not walk to school nor are absent from classes. We no longer need to imagine a food-filled dining table on Christmas Eve. All because of the many kind hearted individuals who are helping me and my family reach our dreams.I know that the scholarship that was granted to me was one of the bridges that led us to hope. Hope that brings courage and motivation for us. Life may not be a bed of roses, but we still try to manage and overcome it; hoping that something better and brighter will come someday.