Being raised in a poor community in Mindoro made Leo Jaminola III understand that not everyone is born into privilege and he doesn’t have the same opportunities as the other children have.
But this did not stop him to aim higher and reach for his dreams in life.
Recently, the young man graduated from the University of the Philippines (UP) – Diliman with the course of BA Political Science. He held six different jobs so he could continue and support himself in his studies.
Despite juggling his studies with six jobs for almost 5 years, Leo now receives his well-earned diploma in Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. What’s even more impressive is that he was able to graduate cum laude.
In a now viral Facebook post, where Leo shared a look into his family life in Mindoro. Growing up in a poor community, he experienced playing near the esteros and makeshift houses made of tarpaulin, which is a normal sight for them.
Leo’s father worked as a messenger in the local municipal hall and only earns a small amount of 200 pesos a day. With their situation, he is aware that his father’s earnings will not be enough to send him to school, or not even cover his meals for the entire day.
That’s why he had to rely on his relatives help and from his small income working part-time jobs. During his five-year stay at the school, Leo worked as an encoder, a transcriptionist, a library student assistant, a tutor, a writer, and a food vendor at the school canteen where he managed his own small stall.
The young man also tried to apply for a scholarship every semester, but since there were fewer opportunities for someone like him who is taking up social sciences.
Leo was not able to get a scholarship, his grades at the time weren’t so high because his time was divided by his studies and part-time jobs. Yet, he still managed to pull himself on the right track and finish college with flying colors.
Leo also said that all these experiences motivated him to use his education to help the community and to pursue a career in development research.
Congratulations, Leo Jaminola!