A Boy in apink t-shirt sitting at a desk readng a textbook
Justine studying hard in class

My name is Justine

“I joined the Sisters of Mary School-Adlas, the Philippines in August. I am part of the St. John Bosco Family.

I am the second child of three children. My parents separated when I was just two years old. We were left with our grandparents who tried their very best to raise us and help us to live a normal life. It was hard for our grandparents to look after us and feed us. They were growing old, and we were still too young to manage things on our own. Those were the struggling years for us three but the most cherished because we knew we were truly loved.

All three of us were able to go to primary school but it was difficult as we only had one peso allowance for food and five pesos if our grandparents had extra. How can one peso even fill my hungry stomach? For most people, this is just nothing but for me, it means so much. Better to have a peso than nothing.

During school, I sold snacks to classmates, teachers and to townspeople. It was embarrassing because our classmates could see us, and they would bully us. But I was left with no choice in order to survive and continue with my studies. My classmates wore shoes and I had only slippers. I really didn’t know why life was so difficult for me and so unfair”.

Boy in a pink t-shirt drawing a man's face in pencil on a sketchpad

At school with the Sisters of Mary

“My struggle for a bright future continued until I was offered the chance to enter this wonderful school.

When I first entered everything was new to me, I felt joy and was glad. I learned a lot in this school; I learned how to operate machines, computers, install house wirings and much more. I am grateful for these opportunities. I also  received several awards in different competitions, especially in Art. I love Art so much. I now know that I can be kind and generous and I learned how to forgive others.

This school has really built my foundation and strengthened me physically, socially and emotionally. I also am very grateful to  the sisters who have supported me and who truly cared for me. I also thank our educators who tirelessly shared their expertise. Moreover, I thank our donors, graduates, friends, and those who support our school.

After graduation, I plan to work first in order to save money for my college expenses. Once I have the money, I want to pursue my college degree and eventually reach my dream for me and my family. This will not be possible without the help of the school. I promise to come back here as a successful businessman and a well-respected man to show my gratitude to the school. I will continue to motivate and inspire students to work really hard. Each of us has a story to tell, we are the “masters of our fate”.