By: Stephanny Keith M. Magalaman
Co-written by: Eric Michael Santos
CAGAYAN DE ORO – Lazy, apathetic, undisciplined. This was how Stephanny Keith M. Magalaman described herself before she became a CheckMySchool (CMS) volunteer.
“Since my elementary school days, I was a very lazy student. I thought of skipping classes just because I felt my mother was giving me chump change for my allowance. Because of my laziness, my father had to bring me to school everyday,” said Steph, a third year Community Development student of Tagoloan Community College in Misamis Oriental.
Volunteering for CMS made Steph re-experience the school community and helped her see how personal growth could happen through such experience. She visited Indahag Elementary School and other public schools in their area, giving her the opportunity to interact with students, teachers and principals.
She observed, “Encountering indifferent and uncooperative teachers, I developed patience, persistence and communication skills that enabled me to get the necessary facts. I realized that the theories and practices we learned in my course are different from the real-life situations I experienced in my CMS volunteer work.”
Steph further narrated, “I often saw small children walking long distances under the scorching sun and pouring rain every day to go to school. I overheard teachers talk about students coming to class without eating breakfast. These difficult realities strengthened my resolve to finish my studies and use education to help Filipinos rise above poverty.”
As she has committed to this volunteer work, she could not be like the schoolgirl she was before in her elementary days. She had to wake up early for the scheduled CMS visits to public schools, which was very difficult for her.
She did it anyway. “I adjusted my routine by sleeping early in the evening. Doing this routine daily, it eventually became a habit. I formed a completely positive mindset through my CMS volunteer work,” Steph shared.
Aside from the new perspective and discipline that volunteering has instilled in her, Steph also acknowledged the community development skills that she gained through CMS. She was grateful for the opportunity to be involved in addressing issues affecting the school community.
Edited by: Eric Michael Santos