Gilbert de Vera, a drug user, regained the life he had lost in the streets through skills training in the classroom.
An adopted child, De Vera went wayward at the age of 16, got into drugs and learned how to steal.
“I’ve been through a lot – drug abuse, stealing, street fights,” said the native of Santa Rosa, Pilar, Bataan.
“I know I’ve caused misery to many people, no one seems to want me,” he said.
Introduced to a church member, De Vera saw a glimpse of hope when he was offered to study. He was hesitant to inquire at first because he saw that the technical vocational course costs P10,000.
The church member was able to secure a scholarship voucher for him that allowed him to study for free. De Vera said he was told that the scholarship came from the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA).
He took up Instrumentation and Control Servicing at the Electrotechnical Institute, a TESDA-accredited instrumentation and control school and assessment center in Bataan.
“We saw in him the eagerness and dedication to finish the course,” Rhea Rose Villanos, the administrator of the institute, said.
She said that De Vera would attend the 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. classes everyday and finished it without absences.
De Vera also encouraged his friends to get into tech-voc because of his positive experience.
“I saw that slowly, I was redeeming myself. I was leaving my unpleasant past and heading towards somewhere brighter,” he said.
De Vera became an expert in installing, calibrating and configuring various instrumentation and control devices and systems. For this, he was hired by the plant of San Miguel Corp. in his province as part of the group checking calibration.
De Vera said he was lucky he was given another chance to start anew, and wished his friends would be given the same opportunity.
“It’s all we need – another chance,” he said. END