55-year-old streetsweeper graduates college in Batangas

    MANILA, Philippines – A 55-year-old streetsweeper became an inspiration to many as she achieved her dream of finishing college.

    Ofelia Mondaya's family couldn't help but share how proud they are as she completed her degree in Business Administration at the Colegio ng Lungsod ng Batangas. At the age of 55, the persevering mother juggled her studies and work for her dream.

    55-year-old streetsweeper graduates college in Batangas

    Mondaya's daughter Crizel shared how her mother worked hard. She said, "Sobrang pinagtiyagaan niya talaga. Halos sa madaling araw umaalis siya, magtatrabaho, magwawalis tapos uuwi siya ng umaga na, maliwanag na. Tapos mag-aaral siya kasi marami siyang assignment."

    For four years, Mondaya studies and works as a streetsweeper by day. She managed to convince her supervisor to arrange her work schedule so it won't interfere with their studies.

    Before pursuing a college degree, Mondaya studied in the alternative learning system under the Department of Education in 2014. She passed and got a scholarship under the local government of Batangas City at the Colegio ng Lungsod ng Batangas.

    Crizel added that she and her 6 other siblings are proud of their mother's accomplishment. She said, "Proud na proud kami sa kaniya. Hindi man kami nakapagtapos, katulad ng kanyang pinapangarap sa amin, masaya kami kasi siya 'yung halos tumupad na rin ng pangarap namin."

    Due to COVID-19 pandemic, Mondaya won't be able to march on stage for the graduation but it doesn't lessen her happiness. She also urged others to keep on working hard for their dreams.

    She said, "Huwag na po nating hintayin na tayo ay magkaedad pa o maging matanda bago mag-aral… Kailangan po talaga maging positibo tayo sa buhay at gawin po natin 'yung tama at alam natin na makakatulong sa atin. Ganoon din po sa ating kapwa."

    Mondaya's work as a streetsweeper is on a job order contract but with her college diploma, she is planning to apply as a regular employee in the City Hall.

    — The Summit Express
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