Graduates and completers of DSWD-EMAR Human and Environmental College, Inc. education program during the recognition ceremony on Monday.

Davao City –A family will always play a crucial role in anyone’s life. Friends and acquaintances may appear at some point in your life but at the end of the day, it will always be your family that will see you through and help you pull through.  Most often, your family is your ‘forever’ especially if you are a resident of a rehabilitation center.

For John Pip A. Languban, 18, a ward of the DSWD Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY), his family is his inspiration in all his accomplishments.  Languban completed Grade 9 as First Honor under the Reach-Out Program of EMAR Human and Environmental College, Inc. which started in 2015.

Languban was also named Best in English, Science, Mathematics and Araling Panlipunan during the first recognition day held on Monday at RRCY covered court with 57 graduates under three categories –A (Kindergarten to Grade 3), B (Grades 4 to 6) and C (Grades 7 to 10).

Another resident, Geovanne O. Engaud, 18, who finished Grade 9 as 2nd Honor replied when asked what made him succeed, “Na-inspire ko sa akong pamilya. Silbi balos nako ni sa akoang pamilya sa ilang kaayo sa akoa (I was inspired by my family. This is my way of expressing my gratefulness [to my family] for the kindness shown to me).”

Engaud’s father Juanito said he and his wife see to it that they visit their son every weekend. “We come here to bond with him and advise him. Also, my son stays with us for four days during Christmastime.” Engaud was also cited as Best in Filipino, MAPEH and in Values. All members of his family came to celebrate his graduation.

Nineteen year-old Liwi Lee E. Dela Cruz who completed Grade 6 on top of his class shared that his love for his family pushed him to study hard and really listen to lectures. Dela Cruz also received medals as Best in Filipino, Mathematics, English and Values.

Life lessons

Languban said he learned how to lead a good life at the center and how to show respect. “I am grateful to the staffs for helping me become a better person. We should strive to acquire education to be able to help others.”

Meanwhile, Engaud admitted he acquired a deeper understanding of God with his more than two-year stay at RRCY. “I have learned a lot here like respecting, understanding and appreciating others. I want to finish school and take on a job. We should not waste the opportunity while we are young because we are the hope of our nation.”

For Dela Cruz, he learned respect for elders and obedience to rules. “Nakakat-on usab ko pag-ampo, pagpaubos, pagsabot ug pagpasaylo (I have also come to value prayer, humility, empathy, and forgiveness).”

In her message, EMAR President and Chief Executive Officer Ma. Lita A. Montalban stressed that education should be made available to all even for those in rehabilitation centers. “What is most important is for every one of you to have access to education and to finish your schooling. Let us live up to our deportment awards and merits that we earned this morning and avoid committing mistakes again. Let us dream to be professionals someday and prove our capability. Let us dream, change for the better and finish school.”

Montalban is also president of Private Schools Athletic Association and Sunday High School Administrators’ Association and serves as governor for Soroptimist International-Mindanao.

DSWD chief of Protective Services Raquel E. Nuňez challenged the completers, “Our dreams will come true if we work for them. This is only one part of our accomplishment to becoming useful citizens of our country. What you must possess foremost is a good character and then education, these two would definitely last a lifetime.”

Partners in education

The DSWD-RRCY is a rehabilitation facility of the government that provides treatment and interventions to children in conflict with the law (CICL) to enable them improve their social functioning and facilitate their reintegration to their family and community.

On the other hand, EMAR is a private educational institution here offering grade school, high school, technical-vocational, college and Sunday school curricula.

EMAR implements the same education reach-out program in Davao City’s Bahay Pagasa, Balay Dangupan, and Paginhawaan Center.

In June, EMAR is set to open this joint program at the DSWD Home for Girls and Women wherein regular Kto12 school curriculum is brought and taught at the center.

Moreover, EMAR has heartily opened its doors to 18 high school graduates of RRCY who will pursue Technical-Vocational education or a four-year course. (DSWD)