How Mylene Turned Her Ambition Into Reality

Mylene quote and photo
The 2013 Functional Literacy, Education and Mass Media Survey reported that there were nearly four million out-of-school children and youth in the Philippines and among them, 19.2% cited insufficient family income to pay for tuition fee and other educational expenses as the reason for not attending school.

Mylene, 28, is a recent graduate of BSBA Human Resource Development Management at the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP). While she is now enjoying her work post-bachelor’s study, she shared the same struggle with thousands of Filipino youth whose families struggle with limited finances. Born as the second eldest among seven siblings, Mylene’s studies took a backseat so her five younger siblings could continue with theirs.

Sacrifices for Studies

Mylene’s father was a supervisor at one of the country’s largest water treatment and distribution company. During the 2008 economic recession in the country, he was forced to retire even after working for the company for 20 years.

Mylene’s family used her dad’s little separation pay to cover their living expenses and used a portion of it to open a humble sari-sari (variety) store. Unfortunately, her dad and elder sibling could not secure jobs and the store’s revenue was insufficient to cover the family’s needs with six children still in school.

While in college, Mylene had to look for a part-time job. In the morning, she went to work as a secretary in a condominium in Binondo, Manila. In the evening, she attended her classes at TIP.

Mylene could recall good days where she got to bring her books to work and study during her break time as compared to days when she barely slept. Despite the physical and mental toll the work-study juggle brought her, she soldiered through it to help provide for her family. However, it was only a matter of time before she knew this routine was no longer sustainable. Her salary was not paying enough for her to significantly support herself and her siblings, while her academics suffered because of the time and energy she needed in her work.

In 2011, she decided to postpone her college education to find a better paying full-time job as a customer service assistant. After five years of working as the family’s breadwinner, she saved Php120,000 ($2,400) for her own studies.

InvestEd and Mylene’s Path to Graduation

Mylene returned to TIP to complete her degree, and even shifted to a management course from accounting after learning from her work experience that she is more passionate in team management.

However, her five years’ worth of savings were quickly depleted due to unforeseen family-related and academic expenses. She found herself having to work part-time again to keep herself in school. This struggle was familiar to her but this time she was determined to graduate immediately more than ever.

Earlier this year, she found herself uncertain if she could still support her studies. She had to take a few more units but she her money was not enough to pay for her matriculation. This prompted Mylene to search online for lending support and came across InvestEd.

She recounted how easy her application process was. She mentioned being surprised that an InvestEd staff quickly got in touch with her for a screening interview. Not long after, she received confirmation and next steps to disburse her student loan to pay for her school fees.

Mylene said she feels blessed that InvestEd came into her life and enabled her to finally graduate.

“InvestEd assured me na tutulungan nila ako, ‘yung pera na nirequest ko is medyo malaki kaya I was really thankful na nagtiwala sila sa’kin. They even offered me na i-lahat na lang ‘yung balance ko sa school beyond dun sa hinihiram ko kaya wala na akong naging problema pa sa school.”

[Invested assured me that they will help me graduate. The loan I requested was quite a huge amount and I was thankful that they trusted me. They even offered to cover all of my remaining balance in school which was beyond what I was requesting for. Because of the loan, I had no further problems in school.]

She further noted how InvestEd provided learning opportunities such as seminars on financial literacy and the access to work and life tips from her fellow Investees. She appreciated how her new-found peer group offer suggestions on how to more easily manage their student loan repayment.

Mylene completed her bachelor’s degree with recognition for being the best presenter for her feasibility and case studies. She is working as a customer service associate at one of the country’s largest call centers, earning more than she did when she was an undergraduate. At present, she looks forward to finding a job position that would enable her to practice and grow her skill set as a human resource development manager.