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    Feature: Former 4Ps grantee lands 2nd in LET

    CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)–A former beneficiary of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program ranks second in the recently concluded Licensure Examination for Teachers.

    Jourdyn Pansoy Balane receives the Best in Practice Teaching when she graduated Cum Laude of the Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in General Education at Mindanao State University-Maigo School of Arts and Trade, Maigo, Lanao del Norte. (DSWD-10)

    Jourdyn Pansoy Balane, 27, of Manan-ao, Baroy, Lanao del Norte earned a 91.80 % rating.

    A Cum Laude graduate with a Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in General Education at Mindanao State University-Maigo School of Arts and Trade, Jourdyn did not expect to excel in the board examination.

    Jourdyn cried so much happiness when she learned of her feat, August 4.

    “I cried because I remembered again all the hardships and rough roads I’ve been through to make this dream a reality,” Jourdyn told DSWD Field Office 10.

    The night before the licensure examination, Jourdyn disclosed that she was scanning her notes and spent only two hours sleep.

    “The night before the day of the examination, I had only two hours sleep, for I spent my remaining time reviewing. Yes, mag-exam na lang, nag-review pa gihapon ko. (It’s now the day of the exam, yet I’m still reviewing). Therefore, I was not confident that I had covered and mastered all the concepts. Moreover, I had minimal time to study since I needed to do household and mother duties,” said Jourdyn.

    Jourdyn and her husband, Christopher, brought along their newborn second child when they traveled to Cagayan de Oro City from Lanao del Norte for the examination.

    Tough college days

    Jourdyn entered college despite being financially challenged. At that time, she was determined to finish a degree.

    “My journey during college years was rough and tough. In the second semester, I started enjoying the benefits of ESGP-PA (Expanded Student Grant-in-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation); before that, I struggled financially.

    ESGP-PA is a defunct program of the Commission on Higher Education and DSWD for underprivileged college students. Thus, targeting then the 4Ps beneficiaries.

    At that time, Jourdyn recalled, “my parents tried their best to pay for my tuition, allowances, and all expenses, but it’s not enough.”

    Jourdyn said, “there were times where I didn’t have anything to eat, but thanks God, some of my board mates gave me some foods when they had more on their table.”

    Jourdyn’s challenges did not end when she became a scholar. When she was in third-year college, Jourdyn got pregnant.

    Her parents were very disappointed, “But they were still there for me.”

    Jourdyn chose to live with her husband and continued her studies. “After many adjustments, more challenges, and trials, I persevere. I had never given up,” she shared.

    Despite all the challenges, Jourdyn remained stronger. She graduated Cum Laude and was awarded the Best in Practice Teaching.

    After her college graduation in 2019, Jourdyn chose not to take the LET despite the school having paid a review center.

    Jourdyn finished only a few of the review sessions and quit.

    When Jourdyn felt ready to take the board exam, a pandemic happened. So she enrolled in a No Physical Contact Review program of CBRC (Carl Balita Review Center).

    Trials and challenges bombarded Jourdyn’s review.

    This time, she got pregnant with her second child.

    “I completely lose weight just like my first pregnancy. Then, I had no appetite to eat and always felt sick and ill. I gave birth to my second baby through the cesarean section just like my first one, on April 19 this year, two months before the fourth batch of takers,” Jourdyn told.

    “Three days after being discharged from the hospital, I was admitted again to the hospital. I felt like dying at that time. My physician diagnosed me of having anemia and uterine atony.

    “This was the worst part of my life, but I know God has a reason why things like this happened. I had been there in the hospital for five days. After two weeks from discharge, I had continued preparing myself for the upcoming LET even though the review center did not yet post the final list for the 4th batch takers,” said Jourdyn.

    Jourdyn considered her family among the poorest in her barangay before becoming a 4Ps beneficiary.

    “My mother, Rosalina,’ is a plain housewife, and my father, Jovencio, is a watch repairman. My father’s income is only enough to cover our basic needs,” Jourdyn said.

    Jourdyn remembered a time when her family had food on the table. Her mother begged for mercy to borrow cans of grains from their neighbor.

    When one member of her family got sick, Jourdyn said they had no money to buy medicines.

    “We were poorest among the poor in our barangay. My mother even got humiliated because of overdue debts in small sari-sari stores,” disclosed Jourdyn.

    When Jourdyn graduated from high school, she worked as a helper in different places to help her parents cover the expenses.

    Jourdyn is among the 12 Pansoy siblings.

    4Ps changed lives

    After being placed under the 4Ps program, “our life becomes better,” Jourdyn said.

    She added that her younger siblings had enough school allowance and even had enough to buy school supplies and projects.

    “Most of all, I became an ESGPPA scholar because my family is a 4Ps household, and I was one of the priority beneficiaries of the scholarship program,” Jourdyn added.

    Through ESGP-PA, Jourdyn said, ‘I was able to complete my degree.’

    Jourdyn said all ESGP-PA grantees received nearly P40,000 a year.

    “I was a replacement at that time, so I enjoyed the benefits when I was in the 2nd year of my college years until I graduated,” said Jourdyn.

    “To the people who created the 4Ps program and scholarship, I would never be who I am today without your financial help. You put hope in the less fortunate ones to keep on dreaming.

    “I wish this program will continue to prosper, and may you shed hope and light on the people like me,” Jourdyn said.

    MSU-SAT Experience

    Upon learning of her achievement from the June 2022 licensure examination, administrators of MSU-SAT met her for an offer.

    “After meeting with the MSU Superintendent Atty. Lee Marcial, I was so happy. He offered me a job as an instructor, which I accepted without hesitation,” said Jourdyn.

    With her outstanding achievement in life, Jourdyn encourages all beneficiaries to use the cash grants properly and “wisely.”

    “My advice for the 4ps children is to study well. To the parents, use the money wisely. Put God always as the center of your lives and never doubt God’s plan for you,” said Jourdyn.

    “Things will get tough with turmoils, challenges, and trials, but they should learn how to persevere, to never give up, and to keep fighting for their dreams,” Jourdyn said.

    4Ps is a program of the national government implemented through the DSWD that invests in human capital by providing cash grants to program beneficiaries upon compliance with certain conditions in health, nutrition, and education.

    Program conditions include sending and keeping their school-aged children in school; pre and post-natal care for mothers; regular and preventive check-ups for children aged five and below; deworming for children aged 14 and below; attendance in the monthly family development session (FDS)–the FDS provides psychosocial and psycho-educational components.

    Currently, Northern Mindanao has 262,588 active 4Ps household beneficiaries. (DSWD-10/PIA-10)

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