I'm Jevelyn Alejandro and this is the story behind my success as a graduate of Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management (BSHM).

After finishing Senior High School back in 2019, I decided to take the college scholarship exam offered by Hinatuan Mining Corp. (HMC), a subsidiary of natural resources development firm Nickel Asia Corp. (NAC).

To pursue my dreams of getting into college despite financial constraints, I decided to take their exam. Passing the exam is a requirement to becoming an HMC scholar; another is passing the entrance exam in the Surigao del Norte State University (SNSU).

If memory serves me right, there were more than 2,000 students taking the state university entrance exam and I am blessed to be one of the 150 students who passed. That increased my chances of becoming an HMC scholar.

My selected course, Bachelor of Science in Hospital Management, has only 50 slots open for new enrollees and there were 150 of us. Enrollment was a frantic race to get a slot; luckily for me, I was able to secure my spot. I am really blessed.

It was already our first semester of classes, just when we were starting our college lives, when the Covid-19 pandemic hit. To adapt, we adjusted to an online method of schooling.

The almost three years of virtual classes made it difficult for me to go home since in Barangay Talavera where I live, the internet signal is unstable and there is no electricity.

This prompted me to stay in an apartment in Surigao City. Even though the cases of Covid-19 kept increasing, I chose to remain in the city to have access to online classes and increase my chances of passing and submitting good grades to HMC since I want to keep my scholarship.

I thought those were the only struggles I would have as a student, but I was wrong. There were a lot more struggles: earthquakes, typhoons, home sickness, getting sick without anyone to take care of you, and the most painful is being away from my family. In spite of all this, I persevered and thought that these challenges will help mold me as a strong and independent person. Just like the saying, “success comes to those who try, it comes to those who are not afraid to fail.”

These are the words that kept me going all those years. It was not an easy ride. There were difficulties and obstacles along the way. Some brought me to the point that I was ready to give up. But just when I was about to quit, there was always something that pulled me back, something inside me that wanted to try more, and that gave me hope and the willpower to continue. Sometimes, failures damage us so much that we fail to realize the valuable lessons they bring along.

I thank my younger self for focusing on the goal and not the hurdles. I thank my younger self for believing in myself when no one else did. And finally after being exhausted, lost, anxious, and struggling all these years, I now have a diploma and it makes me proud of myself.

But no matter how self-sufficient I was, I could not have achieved this without the unconditional support of HMC, a responsible mining company, who never left me and my fellow scholars and for guiding us on the right path. With this, you made my ordinary life in an extraordinary way!

Thank you!

#TATAK-HMC scholar

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