Life is tough, but STI College – General Santos alumnae Jojie Palahang is tougher. He has conquered through a lot of twist and turns in his existence in as early as his childhood years, and now is still pushing through amidst the toughness of it all.
In his early years of enjoying the life he is given, Jojie had already lost both his parents – his mother, just a couple of months after she gave birth to him and; his father, when he was in his 2nd grade in elementary. Jojie became an orphan at the age of 7, and one can just imagine how hard it was back then for him, who is the youngest of four. At such a young age, he already missed the warmth of a family.
Since the circumstance, Jojie was raised in the arms of his grandmother, while his siblings lived in their relatives’ home. Even when he was made to feel enough amounts of love and care, he still longed for the embrace only his parents and siblings can give. Through the years, he longed for a family – he longed for belongingness.
But the more challenging part was the fact that he had to make ends meet on his own, given his grandmother’s priorities – her children – and her age. He became a Student Assistant at STI College – General Santos knowing full well the importance of education and the fact that he needs to sustain and finish his degree in Associate in Computer Technologies and Bachelor of Science in Computer Science. It meant for him to secure cleanliness of computer laboratories, and check the attendance of the faculty while still attending his classes. He also experienced working in the library; being part of the Tabulation Team and; other times serving as a Technical Staff. Even if he was bound to juggle his work and academics, Jojie kept a positive mindset: he loved the challenge as it trained him how to manage his time well, as well as how to be confident in dealing a lot of things.
With these, he was not afraid to face the life after college, especially that in the Information Technology Industry. He knew well enough that STI College – General Santos equipped him with necessary knowledge and values he needed to face a more challenging juncture in his life. Building his life as a programmer here in General Santos City, Jojie have had difficulties in his first few tries that led him to doubting his worth as a programmer, but it certainly did not hinder him from doing his best. This perseverance led him to earning a Java Certification which he considers his biggest accomplishment yet, since it recognizes programmers worldwide. Eventually, more doors of opportunity opened for him.
Now, Jojie is currently working as an Associate Manager in Accenture, Cebu City, and is a proud family man. And being the simple man that he is, he further dreams of establishing financial freedom, and securing the future of his children so that he can finally freely decide to live peacefully in the farm, as it is his long term goal.
His motivation? His own struggles. Jojie always makes sure to stop and reflect on the things he has gone through to fuel himself to become stronger, better and more determined to achieve his goals.
“My advice to the youth and to my future colleagues: You just need to continue your dreams in life despite every challenge that you are facing right now. Problems and struggles are always in our side; it depends on how we handle it ourselves. If you are about to give up always ask assistance from above. Because I am of what I am today because of Him.”