Prov'l scholar valedictorian: "Do not let poverty hinder you from your path to success"

Jun 04, 2019 ...

With a general weighted average of 1.51, the highest among the graduating students, Nick Harold R. Gajonera, a Sirib Youth Leader scholar, led the 653 graduates as valedictorian of the Northwestern University on their 87th Commencement Exercises last Saturday, June 1.

Now a degree holder in Political Science, Gajonera used his tough battles as inspiration to emerge as number one. He has managed to surpass all the circumstances and have made it to the top through his dedication, toil, and hardwork.

A native of Banna, Ilocos Norte, he is the eldest among three children of a meat vendor and a housewife. Gajonera was inspired to strive harder in his studies to help with their financial struggles. This served as his biggest motivation throughout his schooling.

"Do not let poverty hinder you from your path to success," he remarked.

"My father's income is not always sufficient so I had tried working in a BPO company. Whenever I ask for allowance from my father, I always see  hardships, efforts, and sacrifices in his eyes. Because of this, I was determined to double my efforts and do better; there is a hope for a better tomorrow," he shared.

A provincial scholar for two years, he expressed his appreciation to the Provincial Government of Ilocos Norte (PGIN) for contributing to his financial needs.

"I thank the PGIN, Senior Board Member Matthew Marcos Manotoc who legislated the Provincial Scholarship Ordinance,  and the Ilocos Norte Youth Development Office (INYDO) for helping me finance my needs in school - providing us opportunities to become an effective leader, student, and a citizen. Through these, I was able to widen my horizons, my skills, and my talents, making me who I am and what I have achieved today."

Moreover, he challenged the students to continue doing their best regardless of what circumstances they are facing, saying, "I urge everyone who are facing their own struggles to continue following for your dreams. Make these hardships as your drive to do better and reach a brighter future for yourselves."

Gajonera is among the 84 Sirib Youth Leader and Sirib Community Leader who graduated this year.

by Stewart Ocampo



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