Inspired by her father’s struggles, a daughter of a mechanic from Naga, Camarines Sur, finished college with flying colors.
Anna Raiza Dela Cruz graduated magna cum laude at STI under the hospitality management program. She is one of the recipients of full scholarship grant from Prestone Philippines under its Anak ng Mekaniko scholarship program.
While studying, the 24-year-old honor student juggled academic commitments and some side hustles as a dancer. She also joined beauty pageants to help her family.
In an interview during the Prestone scholars’ graduation ceremony, Luisito cannot contain how proud he is of her daughter’s accomplishments.
“Siyempre proud na proud dahil sa nagkaroon siya ng honor sa kanyang pagtatapos. Proud na proud tatak mekaniko,” he said.
Luisito has been working as a mechanic for two decades in an auto repair shop he is renting in Parañaque City, almost 400 kilometers away from his family.
Sending twins to college at the same time was a struggle for them, Raiza said.
“Isa po ako sa panganay, kambal po kami. Mahirap pong pagsabayin yung dalawang tao sa college,” Raiza said.
She also has two other sisters who are also studying.
Despite the challenge, Raiza’s twin finished college and earned a degree in secondary education. She now works as a public high school teacher in their hometown.
“Sa panahon ngayon, madaming opportunity na pwedeng nating kunin, mga scholarship sa barangay, sa school, and hindi po hadlang yung posisyon mo sa buhay,” Raiza said.