The old and new Henry
Henry Alvarez was just your typical youth. He had his group of friends, a complete family, and a plain everyday routine. However, when he became a Sanayan sa Kakayahang Industriyal (SKIL) scholar in 2014, everything changed.
Old tales of young Henry
“No stable work, lazy, unmotivated, had low self-esteem,” shared Henry when asked how he would describe himself before.
Being the youngest did not put much pressure for Henry to take life too seriously. His father is a jeepney driver who works hard for their everyday needs while his mother takes care of the household. Though Henry was not able to finish college due to financial constraints, instead of staying at home doing nothing, he applied for a job to help his family somehow.
He enjoyed working from one company to another in almost all the food chains in Batangas. From being a service crew, kitchen crew, and dining staff to being a counter cashier just proves he has a wide field of experience. However, he lacked the motivation because he was just living one day after another. There were times when his tardiness and low self-esteem got in the way of his work. Moreover, due to company contractualisation policies, he could not find a stable job.
Life was hard for Henry, but things started to change when he encountered something he did not expect nor think would make a big impact in his life. When he heard about Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc.’s (PSFI) examination and recruitment for SKIL in his barangay, he took the chance of taking the exams, believing it might be the opportunity he had long been waiting for.
What’s new, Henry?
When PSFI informed him that he was one of the scholars who successfully passed the recruitment stage, Henry was very proud of himself. He never imagined becoming a scholar at that point, but he realized he worked so hard to earn that slot.
Henry (second from right) with his classmates during their training in LPU
Henry took up Housekeeping, Food and Beverage Servicing course in Lyceum of the Philippines University – Batangas. He studied hard in return for the opportunity given to him. According to him, “Being a scholar helped me a lot. It changed my personality and attitude. Before, I didn’t have the confidence to mingle with others. I was not pursuant to renew another contract that’s why I easily resign and move to another work.”
The SKIL scholarship brought out a new Henry. He learned how to give importance to himself, making him more mature enough to face challenges in life. Nonetheless, he did not deny that sometimes during the period of his schooling, he experienced many trials.
“Time management and financial constraints really tested me during my schooling. But because I really wanted to finish the scholarship, I remembered all my priorities in life and they became my motivation to finish the course,” Henry said.
All his efforts paid off when he was awarded as an Outstanding SKIL Scholar during their graduation. In his speech, he said, “The strongest factor for success is self-esteem: believing you can do it, believing you deserve it, believing you will get it.”
Henry, now is the time.
“Now, I can say I have more confidence and self-esteem. I see things in life positively that I don’t easily give up despite the challenges that come my way. I am mature enough to accept all the tasks and responsibilities given to me. I am more productive as a person,” Henry claims.
Currently, Henry is working as Front of the House at Gold Label Burgers and Franky Joe’s in Bahrain. “What I learned in school and all the skills and experience I gained during my employment in various food chains helped me a lot with my current work,” he said.
When asked what his message is to future scholars, Henry simply said, “Just keep going. Don’t lose hope with all of your dreams; work hard to achieve them, stay humble, give thanks to everyone who will help you, and pray hard."
By Olivia M. Sorio
Article published on PSFI news magazine October 2016 issue