Graduation is always a celebration for every student. It is a time when all of your family and friends gather and congratulate you with well wishes for the future. But when you happen to be deaf and a graduate, there is more reason to celebrate. In a country where deaf awareness is still a work in progress, not all hearing-impaired have had the opportunity to undergo formal education.
For the school year 2010-2011, the Bohol Deaf Academy, Bohol’s only special education institution that offers secondary education for the Deaf, is proud to present to the community its 19 graduates. They had their commencement exercises on March 31, 2011 at the BDA campus. Such a triumphant feat is not only a reflection of each student’s success but also the continuous realization of IDEA’s vision and mission of having a society wherein the Deaf enjoy social and economic equality; as well as, assisting them to achieve self-reliance by providing academic, vocational, physical, spiritual and economic opportunities.
Chady and Marianne Guivencan with their proud parents
Leading the class in their academic victory are siblings Chady Guivencan and Marianne Guivencan of Panglao Island, known for its fine powdery sand and white beaches. Both are top performers in their class, not just academically for they also demonstrated leadership traits by being elected as class officers. It is with this sense of hard work and dedication that they look forward to finding jobs after graduation in order to help their parents and improve their standard of living. Chady is interested in the food service industry and dreams of landing a job that involves cooking. Meanwhile, Marianne wants to apply the skills she learned in school in the field of food technology. Equipped with values and a positive outlook in life, we are sure that these siblings will achieve their life’s dreams!
Another graduate who is excited to receive his diploma is Jay Cahimat. Jay shall forever be grateful to his aunt, who supports his schooling and other needs especially that his immediate family is in Manila. Early last year, Jay’s brother who had long been suffering with kidney problem died. Such tragic news caused him much sadness, but amidst the grief, Jay chose to remain strong and dedicate his achievements to his brother. This strength made Jay earn the trust and respect of the BDA studentry, who elected him as the Class President for the school year. He hopes to pursue a college education to further broaden his horizons and even plans to be a working student in order to save enough money to finance his studies. As they say, “reach for your stars,” and he is doing just that.
A health condition almost prevented Cheryl Ceniza from finishing high school; but thankfully, she made it through with the support and encouragement of her family and friends. To Cheryl, BDA will always be a place of happy memories since it is where she shared lots of laughter and funny moments with her classmates. She truly appreciates the peaceful environment of the school and that is why, when she soon ventures out into the real world in search for work and greener pastures, she hopes it will be in a place of serenity like BDA.
With this new set of graduates, IDEA is closer to its goal of eradicating illiteracy among the Deaf as it seeks to empower them to become productive members of society. Congratulations Batch 2011 BDA graduates! Spread your wings and soar high!