FLORA, Apayao – Argie Aguanta Ganaden, a 21-year-old member of the Agta tribe in Balasi, Flora, Apayao, has exemplified the power of perseverance and is now closer to becoming a teacher – a dream he has fought for, graduating with a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree from Apayao State College (ASC).
Ganadens journey to success was not without its challenges, but his dedication to making a difference in his tribal community fueled his drive. Before earning his bachelor’s degree, he overcame obstacles, starting with his completion of the Alternative Learning System (ALS) in 2019. The support and care provided by his foster parents, Van Hallen Sanchez, a Baptist pastor in Poblacion West, Flora, Apayao, and the Jesus Cares Ministry, have been instrumental in his growth and development since he was in grade school.
In an interview, Ganaden shared what made him pursue a career in education, “When I was young, I didn’t have a clear vision of my future. However, as I grew up and received holistic training, I began to witness the pressing needs in our community. Driven by a passion to assist my fellow community members, I chose to pursue a degree in education.”
His aspiration to become the first teacher from his tribe reflects a dedication to bringing hope and opportunities to his people. He expressed concern for the prevailing sense of hopelessness and the barriers hindering progress in his community.
By becoming a teacher, he aims to be a beacon of change and empower future generations to attain better living conditions.
“It is essential for our tribe not to lose sight of our potential to thrive in life, regardless of the challenges we face. Whether it’s the lack of resources or difficulties in access to education, we must remain persistent in our pursuit of equal opportunities and government support. Let us not be discouraged by the numerous obstacles in our path, but instead, let us embrace our dreams and work diligently to turn them into reality,” he concluded, encouraging his fellow community members to persevere.
He attributes his achievements not only to his own determination but also to the support of his parents and family, who have been a constant source of strength and inspiration throughout his journey.
ASC, recognizing the significance of Ganaden’s milestone, expressed their honor in playing a role in his academic journey. As an institution dedicated to nurturing future educators, they are proud to have contributed to his growth and are hopeful that his success will inspire more individuals from underrepresented communities to pursue their dreams. By Jomela Dela Torre