CEBU CITY, Philippines—She only had two notebooks for use in the eight subjects that she had when she was still a grader.
Miss Universe Philippines 2020 Rabiya Mateo said she also experienced the struggle of not having enough school supplies and having to borrow school materials from her classmates and friends.
Proud that she survived the difficulties that she experienced while in grade school, Mateo said it is now her turn to reach out to public school graders and provide them with school supplies that will surely help in their studies.
Her chosen beneficiaries in Cebu were the 150 pupils of the Zaragosa Integrated School in Badian town who received school supplies and a pair of slippers that came from private donors.
In her Instagram posts Monday morning, February 1, Mateo shared photos of her visit Badian town visit on January 2, 2021.
“Many students need to walk 45 mins to an hour just to get there. These kids have big dreams for themselves and their families. You can see the drive to succeed in their eyes,” she said.
But just like her, Mateo is confident that these children will also make it big one day.
From being a school girl who would often borrow school materials from her classmates and friends, Mateo is now Miss Universe Phillipines, a title that she won in October 2020.
“Despite these limitations, however, I was happy studying and doing my school work,” Mateo said.
With the success and all the blessings that she is now enjoying, Mateo said that the time has come for her to give back and inspire school children to dream big and reach for these dreams.
“I made a promise to myself that when I reach that point of success, I would give back. I want to share my story with those children who are experiencing the same hardships. I want to inspire and motivate them to achieve greater things in their lives.”
“As your Ambassador for Education, my goal is to go to different schools all over the country and offer any help we can give,” she added. / dcb