Meet Gia and Her Unwavering Dedication

Bianca Caugma

Imagine you’re in your last year of college, attending classes and finishing your thesis while working a part-time job. Sound difficult? Like many others, this was Gia’s challenging reality before InvestEd.

Full-time Student, Part-time Employee

Gia is a senior taking up Bachelor of Fine Arts at Bulacan State University. Design has always been her passion; she has been drawing and designing as far back as she can remember — from cars, houses, and portraits, to anything that piqued her interest. This passion motivated her to pursue a major in visual communication.

However, achieving her dream of completing a degree in the arts and design would not be easy. Apart from her school fees, she would need funds for costly art supplies and other school materials — funds which she and her family did not readily have. To pay for school expenses, Gia had to work at a printing press and a cooperative — performing a variety of tasks, from bookkeeping accounts, sorting files, cleaning the office, to binding books. Her previous employer covered her tuition fees and paid her Php100 (less than $2) per day for her labor.

Gia admits that balancing her work and studies was difficult. She recalled how she often had to work overtime to finish her tasks, leaving her with little to no time for her homework. She can no longer count how many times she got sick due to the overwork, pressure, and stress of sufficiently managing both.

With so much on her hands, Gia did not finish her thesis on time. She knew she could not continue to maintain her work at the expense of her education, especially if she planned to complete her studies as soon as possible so she could start helping her family with income from full-time employment.

Finding InvestEd

Gia knew she could not afford her tuition without her salary. However, with her delayed graduation, she realized that she would constantly underperform in her studies if she continued to work at her part-time job in the cooperative which she considered a bigger risk to her future. With this in mind, she chose to resign.

Without any means to pay for her studies, she looked for scholarships and other financial assistance programs that could support her education, and eventually came across InvestEd online. Despite her doubts that InvestEd would be able to help her, as her degree program in fine arts was not listed in their supported programs, she steeled herself and inquired. Gia believes that this question sparked change in her life.

Currently, Gia is a proud Investee. Her loan covers both her daily allowance and tuition fees. In addition, she has access to career and financial training sessions and a support network through her InvestEd mentor and co-Investees.

Since Gia no longer has to work to pay for school fees, she has more time and energy to focus on her studies. Gia also boasts that InvestEd’s mentorship helped her realize her potential and encouraged and guided her to create a plan to help her achieve her dreams, something she had struggles with following her desperate situation. She is happy she took the leap of faith and approached InvestEd for a student loan.

“Masasabi ko talaga na umpisa ko na talaga to. Minumulat ka talaga ng InvestEd sa realidad ng buhay tapos pinakapakita nila na puwede mo pa ding magawa ang mga pangarap mo. Bakit ngayon lang sila dumating?”

[I can say that this is really my start. InvestEd truly open your eyes to the reality, yet it shows that your dreams are possible. Why did they only come now?]

Motivation at Heart and Goal in Mind

When asked what drives her hard work, Gia promptly answered, “Mga magulang ko…[My parents].” Gia’s father works in their barangay as an eco aide while her mother does laundry work. Her grandmother also sells suman and palabok to help Gia’s family get by.

“Ayoko na naglalaba si mama. Lalo na ngayon na nakikita ko yung kamay n’ya — yung mga ugat kitang-kita na. Masakit kasi makita ngayon… Marami akong pangarap sa magulang ko. Kailangan ko pagbutihin para maiangat sila sa hirap.”

[I hate that my mother has to do others’ laundry. It pains me to see her hands with the veins already visible. I have so many dreams for my parents, so I have to do well to give them a better life.]

Gia dreams of giving her family a better life — well enough for them to afford a house and a car in the future. She hopes to land a high-paying job, start a business, and eventually open her own studio and gallery.

“Gusto ko magfocus sa pangarap ko, magpatuloy lumakad kahit ang daming nakaharang, huminto man nang paghakbang dahil sa kritisismong naririnig, inihahakbang ko parin ang aking mga paa kahit sobrang sakit na, kahit sobrang pagod na, kahit puro paltos, na kahit lumilitaw ang ugat sa aking mga paa, kinakaya ko pa rin lumakad at magpatuloy upang maipakitang ganito ko kamahal ang pamilya ko at may pangarap ako para sa kanila.”

[I want to focus on my dream and continue to go forward in spite of any barriers. Even if I pause because of criticisms, I will move forward — even if it gets painful, even if I become exhausted and blistered, and even if the veins in my feet begin to appear. I will endure for my family and my dreams for them.]

Gia is working tirelessly to achieve her dreams for herself and her family. With InvestEd’s support, Gia gets to devote her time and effort where they are currently needed most — her education.