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In her ultimate dream to see her elder sister become a professional teacher and provide a comfortable life for her parents, Roxane Rizalde Solomon temporarily sacrificed her own and worked as a babysitter, caregiver, and household helper for six years.


The sacrifice proved to be a success when her sister graduated and passed the licensure examinations for teachers.

At the age of 22, Roxane went back to college as a working student at the St. Alexius College in Koronadal City, taking up Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  As a working student, Roxane experienced financial difficulties, oftentimes having only enough money for tricycle fare to and from school.  It was then the Roxane heard of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES) of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).


Roxane became a SPES baby for four years starting in 2012 until she graduated in 2016.  She shared that her stint as SPES beneficiary hugely helped her in overcoming financial difficulties – having availed of the program twice a year, during summer and Christmas vacation.  She added that the 40% wages she received from the DOLE were used to buy school supplies and personal necessities, and even pay for debts that were acquired to meet both ends.  In an interview, Roxane said that she would not know how to survive her life as a student without the help of the program.


Roxane graduated at the age of 27 and is now a registered psychometrician.  She is back again at her alma mater - St. Alexius College, this time as a Senior High School Coordinator. Having experienced failures and tests in life did not discouraged her but in fact made her believed in the saying “if you are born poor, it’s not your fault, but if you die poor, it’s your fault.” And even though she once thought of giving up, she found ways to stand up and made a choice, that is, not to die poor.


Roxane is just one of the many SPES beneficiaries, who, through the program, chose to change their lives for the better.





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