Magna cum laude’s formula for academic feat: Student by day + service crew by night = success

By: Immae Lachica March 27,2019 - 07:25 AM

Cherry Toledo will graduate magna cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Psychology this March 30. |Contributed photo

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Hard work, perseverance, and belief in one’s self are what drove 20-year-old Cherry Toledo to achieve academic success despite the financial constraints that she faced.

Toledo, who has been a student by day and a service crew by night, will reap the fruits of her hard work on March 30, when she will graduate magna cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Psychology at the University of San Jose Recoletos.

Toledo shared that being an Aboitiz scholar helped her a lot, especially with her tuition, books and miscellaneous fee. 

“Ni sud ko pagka service crew kay aron naa koy ma gasto sa akong daily expenses, labi na sa akong mga projects and sa bayad sa akong boarding dinhi sa syudad” said Toledo. 

(I work as a service crew to cover my daily expenses especially projects in school and payment for my boarding house in the city.)


It was not a walk in the park for Toledo who was faced with the harsh realities of life in such an early age, having to manage school works  and some extra curricular activities from 7 a.m. till 4 p.m. and having to do her night shift duty as a service crew from 6 p.m. till 12 midnight or even until 1 a.m. the next day.

“It means less sleep to no sleep, sa kadaghan nimog buhatonon, but eye on the goals lang gyud niya always lang gyud ka motivated,” she said. 

(It means less sleep to no sleep at all because of the things that you have to do, but you just have to keep an eye on your goals and to always keep yourself motivated.)

No parents’ support

Coming from a broken family,  whose father is serving time in jail, and a mother, who is a manicurist, she and her 18-year-old brother were raised by her grandmother from the paternal side since they were little. 

“Wa man gyud nakasupport akong parents nako, kay naa naman silay ilang mga pamilya. So akong auntie sa una ang gasupport sa akong pang adlaw-adlaw but wa na sad niya makaya kay naa pud siyay ginapa iskuyla” she said. 

(Our parents failed to support us because they have their own families. So it was our aunt who at first supported our daily needs, but eventually she stopped supporting us because she also has her children to send to school.)

Service crew

So to continue her schooling, Toledo became an Aboitiz scholar and when she was old enough applied and got hired as a service crew of a food outlet.

She said her salary from being a service crew helped pay for her boarding house rent and for her school projects.

She showed her gratefulness and pride to her job for contributing to her success in a Facebook post.

“Uniforms signify the different roles we play in our community. Sometimes, we wear our school uniforms, occasionally, our intern attires, and in the future, our professional suits. Apparently, in this post, I am wearing my service crew uniform. This is the role I want to show. It’s what I am proud of. This brought more meaning to what I am now and what I have achieved,” she said in her post.

She also encouraged working students to continue to persevere and to believe in themselves that they could succeed.

Advice, plans

“To all workings scholars, part-timers and organization officers, who are juggling their time for studies and extra curriculars. You can, in no doubt, do it,” she said.

Toledo said her academic achievement would be a step closer to help her family and to be a parent of her younger brother.

“After gradaution mag review, after take board exams and then practice my profession and if God allows proceed to with masteral studies” she said./dbs

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