[Blueboard] Second Chances - "This is my way of fixing my life."

Christopher Peabody cpeabody at ateneo.edu
Wed Dec 20 19:03:53 PHT 2006


Second Chances for those who might be left behind
 
Every week, we meet some very brave and loving parents, students,
faculty, and staff who come to the Annual Fund office for help.  Here
are some of their real stories. 
 Your gifts to the Annual Fund mean that we can help them get through
tough times.
 
 
“This is my way of fixing my life.”
 
J. works nights in the backroom of a Makati call center. As soon as he
finishes his shift at 7 A.M., he heads straight to the Ateneo to attend
his Management classes. He has learned to get by on three hours of
sleep, because he is determined to “fix his life”.
 
Two years ago, he had but just one semester to left to graduate from the
Ateneo. Instead he walked out of school. 
 
J. had always been the boy sitting at the back of the class - a
charming, wisecracking student who managed to pass all of his subjects
with little effort, even in the Ateneo High School where he had
graduated before entering the College. His mother had always taken care
of him, including putting him through the Ateneo College. But in his
second year, his mother returned to manager her business in Mindanao. 
 
Then during first semester of his senior year, his family’s business
collapsed.  J. stopped showing interest in his studies. “That’s it,” his
mother had told him, “if you want to screw up your life, do it on your
own.”  J. and his mother have not spoken since.
 
To survive, he was forced to find a job. Without a degree, he soon found
he lost out to more highly qualified applicants for most jobs. “It was
hard to even get an interview, much less an actual job,” he recalls.
Eventually, he tried a call center. It wasn’t the long hours and the
small pay that he minded so much as it was verbally abuse of the
supervisors. It was a rude awakening.
 
“I knew then how much I’d taken for granted,” he reflects. “All my
mother wanted was for me to finish in Ateneo, and I couldn’t even do
that.”
 
Healing Broken Bonds
 
During the two years of taking calls dusk to dawn, he had often wondered
if it was still possible to graduate from the Ateneo. He knew that if
only he could, the world would open up for him: better employment, maybe
even advanced studies, teach, start his own business … 
 
More than that he wanted to repair his relationship with his mother. 
 
One thing had prevented him from pursuing that plan: lack of money! His
take home pay just managed to cover the rent, food, utilities and
transportation. He had no way to pay the arrears he had left in Ateneo.
Worse, how could he manage to pay the P60,000 for a full semester in the
Ateneo? He knew he would never qualify for a scholarship with his grades
before. 
 
All seemed hopeless until he found the Ateneo Annual Fund on the Ateneo
Giving page (HYPERLINK
"http://www.ateneo.edu/giving"http://www.ateneo.edu/giving).
 
“When I read the words immediate help for immediate needs, a light bulb
came on in my head,” he shares, “this sounds like the solution I’m
looking for!”  
It was. 
 
Working with the University Bursar, the Ateneo Annual Fund staff  was
able to get him back into school by arranging an extended zero-interest
tuition loan to be paid as he studies and works. His new boss gave him
permission to work and study at the same time!
 
“I want to make my mother proud” he says in earnest. “I’m at this point
in my life where I want to make things right again.” 
 
Without the AAF, he would have been left behind.
 
The Annual Fund can give people like J. the kind of second chances we
all deserve.  
 
We’re All In This Together
 
The success of the Annual Fund is wholly dependent on the commitment and
generosity of the entire Ateneo community. Our target is at least P10
million annually so we can help as many deserving Ateneans as possible.
 
The Annual Fund can only accomplish this if all those who can afford to
give, decide to share their blessings.
 
Remember that giving the cost of a bottle of C2 or cup of coffee once a
week for a year is already P1,000. If we all could give a small amount
regularly, it adds up very quickly. 
 
Please consider making a small, regular gift to the Ateneo Annual Fund.
 
For more information on how you can help or if you need help, please
contact Chris Peabody at 9208222935 or 426-6001 local 4098 or email
HYPERLINK "mailto:cpeabody at ateneo.edu"cpeabody at ateneo.edu.  
 
We Have All Been So Blessed, Time to Pass the Blessings On.
 
The Ateneo Annual Fund
HYPERLINK "http://www.ateneo.edu.giving"http://www.ateneo.edu.giving
 
 
 

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