Pinoy farmer’s son makes it to Harvard University

Unlike many children of Filipino farmers who end up doing what their parents did to earn a living, one boy from a small municipality in the foothills of Sierra Madre is about to change the entire course of his life.

Romnick L. Blanco harvard University
PHOTO CREDIT: Town and Country PH
Romnick L. Blanco, a member of the graduating class of International School Manila (ISM) 2017 and a Green Earth Heritage Foundation scholar, is about to enter one of the most prestigious universities in the world- Harvard University.

The seventh of the nine sons of a farmer from a small rural town, Blanco would walk two hours each way, cross bridgeless rivers, and endure the scorching heat of the sun just to go to school. But his situation totally changed after he became a sponsored child of the foundation in 2011. After seeing the potential in Blanco who excelled in English proficiency, the foundation granted him a five-year scholarship at the oldest international school in the country.

Blanco grabbed the opportunity which no one from the members of his community has ever achieved - to finish high school in a prestigious school in the country. This opened doors to greater opportunities as he received acceptance and full scholarships in premier world universities such as the New York University at Abu Dhabi, Wesleyan University, Dartmouth College and Harvard University.

Although he was originally accepted for admission this coming September, Blanco will be taking advantage of a gap year, which is highly encouraged by Harvard University. He will be enrolling in the fall of 2018 and will spend the next 12 months learning practical life skills as well as planting more trees in a Moringa wood forest he established in his community together with GreenEarth Heritage Foundation more than 5 years ago.

“Over the last 5 years, I have planted over 1,500 trees, most of which are the acclaimed miracle tree and superfood of the world, Moringa [Malunggay]. I gave these to my father as my gift to help increase his weekly income,” he told Town and Country.

Awarded the "Most Outstanding in Theatre" for two consecutive years at ISM, Blanco also intends to carry out theater class for farmers’ kids and fellow scholars in the homeschool program of the foundation.

He also hopes to inspire other farmer’s children to live, hope and dream and eventually break the cycle of poverty through education.

"I yearn to see many more farmer's children experience my blessings. If not for my foundation coming to our neck of the woods teaching us to live, hope and dream and backing us up all the way, you would not be writing about me today. There are a number of other farmers' children who are very promising in our community,” Blanco said.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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