This post is from the team at ICARE.
This is a Student Portrait of Shama Grace Aguilar of Sudipen, La Union.
“When I grow up, my dream is that I would be a teacher because I would love to inspire other children and help my family.”
These are the simple words of Shama Grace Aguilar, a 9-year-old Grade 5 student from an Elementary School in Sudipen, La Union, when she was asked about her ambitions in life. A child supported through ICARE since she was a 1st grader, Shama Grace got the highest grade average amongst other supported students in Sudipen, La Union last year. With a grade average of 89.90, she was named as one of the honor students in her class and the Best in Math. Aside from the academic accolades, she was also dubbed as her school’s “Girl Scout of the Year” and was a contestant in a district-wide Math Competition where her team placed second out of 15 competing teams.
A daughter of a tenant farmer and a simple housewife, Shama Grace knows how difficult it is for her to achieve her dreams in life. Her father who tills a rice field earns 80-120 pesos a day. When asked how he plans on sending an intelligent girl like Shama Grace to college, he said, “I do not know where to get the money for future school fees. But I know that my daughter is intelligent and smart – I hope she gets a scholarship in college. For now, I will just plant rice everyday and hope to save enough for her schooling.” Because of the pervasive poverty that permeates the Aguilar Family’s everyday life, Shama Grace and her parents are very thankful for the educational and health support provided by ICARE in collaboration with our education partner in the Philippines.
“The main reason why I’m doing well in school is because even before classes start, I have everything I need – school supplies, uniform and a bag. My parents do not have to worry about it. I also get vitamins so that I can be stronger and not be absent from school.”
Indeed, Shama Grace is on the right track towards a better future. Her parents and her teachers are one in the hopes that the child continues her excellent school performance so that she will graduate with honors and be able to get into a good high school and university. She still has a long way to go before reaching her dreams, but with the help of ICARE, Shame Grace Aguilar surely has a fighting chance at the future she dreams of.