Hi Everyone! I’m Jiselle Rabaca.
I’m 23 years old and a mother of 2 kids.
I work as a Junior Analyst at CGI Philippines and graduate LPC Payatas in March 2019. I am also a Grade 11 student and class president as well as the Secretary of Quezon City Star clubs.
At a young age, I became a mother but always held on to hope that I would still be able to finish my education after giving birth but was unfortunately held back by financial challenges. At a certain point I experienced depression and was filled with anxiety over how my kid’s future will be.
Then an opportunity came for me to start a small document printing-business using my basic knowledge of computers. It was during this time that I came to know of a door to wonderful opportunities that is LP4Y while I had little confidence that I could step into that door.
In LP4Y I became very comfortable with my co-youth and coaches and surprisingly, with myself. I went through several mock interviews and company visits which allowed me to explore and experience how it is in the corporate world – the way people actually dressed and spoke – which were all just in my thoughts before. I was able to intern in Messy Bessy where I shared my stories in different LP4Y events. In my job search I had 3 company interviews in 1 day and would be told I would get an update on the interview result and that’s how it went until I was interviewed at CGI Philippines on June 18, 2019.
I became part of CGI when they appreciated how I demonstrated all the learnings I gained from LP4Y from the way I shook my interviewer’s hand, my body language, my effort to practice my English communication skills to how I have expressed my eagerness to learn and get out of poverty to secure my son’s future. It was not easy when I trained for my job – reading invoices in different languages and analyzing figures which all required attention to details. But after years of doing the job day-in and day-out, and being in the corporate world, I noticed how much I grew and how much of my circumstances have changed. I realized I am now living my simple childhood dream.
When I was little, I envied my brother because his birthday was Dec 31st and there would inevitably be a celebration where there was delicious food and our family was together – because it was New Year’s Eve. While on Dec 30th my birthday – we don’t even have a picture of our family being together on that day and there wasn’t even a small cupcake for me. So, when I had my son I wanted him to feel that his birthday was something to celebrate. I consider it one of my biggest achievements when I was able to throw parties for my children and that I was able to spend on one of those parties even while I was recovering from my eye surgery. Those events, among other things make me feel proud that I have grown so much and continue to grow. I do believe that there is nothing impossible for me as long as I have the will to continue.
My personal experience with the guidance of LP4Y tells me how much being part of the working class positively impacts the lives of excluded youth and how the working class also benefits from the relationship. Excluded youth usually have the stronger drive and determination to work hard in order to forge a better future for themselves and their families. We excluded youth with that determination are the kind of workers companies need and should nurture because we are eager to prove ourselves and be assets and when given the opportunity we become very loyal members of the company.
Every single person here is not the same. But we are all looking for the same things to help us achieve our goals. We all need the guidance, encouragement, openness, and the opportunity to be productive members of society. I am personally grateful for LP4Y and CGI Philippines for providing all those things which I walk with in my continuing journey toward realization of my dreams. But on top of that, I am grateful for myself.
I am grateful for myself and each of us working to make our dreams come true should be proud of ourselves because we take the first step, the initiative to learn, and we who keep taking steps no matter the challenges, and we who kick the doors to open and create opportunities for ourselves. “I” MAKE IT HAPPEN. EACH OF US MAKES IT HAPPEN. Believe in the power of YOU.