“Remember if people talk behind your back, it only means you’re two steps ahead!” – Fannie Flagg
A former vendor who already has three kids decided to go back to school to fulfill her dream of becoming a teacher; sadly, Ivy B. Santos-Generoso had a lot of backbiters who claimed she just wants to go to college to act single and look beautiful.
Many also told her she’s too old to go to school and questioned her decision, especially because she already three children. Why would she want to go to school?
Ivy grew up in a poor family; yet she had always dreamed of becoming a teacher someday. She knew her parents could not afford to send her to college, but this did not stop her from dreaming. While many of her classmates went to college after high school graduation, she worked as over-all helper at a carinderia – being the dishwasher, server/waitress, and janitress/cleaner.
Through the help of her grandmother, she was able to complete a laderized program on Bachelor of Science in Business Education but the 2-year course did not really give her much help in finding a better-paying job.
Growing up in a poor, broken family, she experienced a lot of hardships.
“Kaya pilit akong lumalaban to be a living proof na hindi dapat maging hadlang ang nasirang pamilya para masira din ang future nang isang tao,” Ivy wrote in a Facebook post.
She eventually had her own family, but because her husband was also poor and didn’t hold a stable job, their life had not been easy as well. Ivy decided to become a vendor to help augment their family’s income; thankfully, she was able to find a spot just outside her children’s school.
Everyday, she looked longingly at the teachers going in and out of the school, never forgetting her dream of becoming one.
When she heard that the University of Caloocan City (UCC) was offering a scholarship for poor students who pass the entrance exams, she thought this might be her chance to finally fulfill her dreams. She consulted the matter with her husband and close friends. It was going to be difficult, considering their three kids were still small and are also in school.
At first, she and her husband decided she would just give it a try for the first semester, but when she managed to juggle her time in school and her duties at home, they decided to would continue with her college education.
But her decision was met with ridicule by many backbiters who thought she was too old for school or she’s just being ‘maarte’ and wanted to spend more time by herself.
“Sa kabila nang lahat nang ito, alam nang mga taong malalapit sakin kung pano ko gustong bitawan na ang pangarap ko. Lagi akong umiiyak kasi hirap na hirap na ako pero tingin pa din nang ibang tao sakin palaging nagpapasarap sa buhay. Nandun na pagtsitsismisan ka at kung ano-ano ibabato sayo. Kailangan ipasok ko sa isang tenga labas sa kabila para makaiwas na sumama ang loob.
Minsan gusto ko nang lumaban pero sabi ko sa sarili ko, mas magandang ilaban ang pangarap ko para sa mga anak ko. Finally, napagtagumpayan ko ang laban ko. Salamat sa Dios na nagbigay sakin nang knowledge and wisdom. Without Him, none of these would have been possible. Salamat sa lahat ng tao na naniwala at nagtiwala.”
Thankfully, Ivy did not give up and was able to fulfill her dreams.
Winning as the Regional Finalist of Soroptomist International Phils. Region led to her receiving a scholarship that covered her tuition fees until graduation; thus, she no longer had to spend a penny out of her own pocket!
Through hard work and determination, she was able to juggle her time for school and her family while still earning good grades. She graduated from her course of Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in Early Childhood Education as Cum Laude from the University of Caloocan City.
“Ngayon, para sa mga anak ko, kayo ang naging inspirasyon ko. Hindi hadlang ang pagkakaroon nang anak para hindi makapagtapos. Salamat sa Dios.”