Grateful Daughter of Marikina Wants to Give Back to Society Someday
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One word to best describe Clea Neren Gabaldon is generous. The older of two children, Clea is just too happy to enjoy the free tuition fee at Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Marikina (PLMar) since it relieves her parents of the burden of having to pay for her college education.
Her free schooling is important since her younger brother is studying Civil Engineering at the Eulogio “Amang” Rodriguez Institute of Science and Technology (EARIST) in Sta. Mesa, Manila, where school fees are quite stiff, she says.
“I am proud that I don’t have to pay tuition fees because it means less expenses for my parents,” says Clea, who is in her junior year as a psychology student. “At the same time, I can help my brother because my parents can then afford to spend more on his studies.”
Her parents save around P8,000 per semester because of the free education at PLMar, she says. The only thing that she pays for is the P300 miscellaneous fee collected every semester. As a result, her family is able to slowly fix their house, buy some appliances, and no longer worries about paying utility bills every month.
To maintain her eligibility for free tuition, Clea says she has to maintain a 2.75 grade average and make sure that she has no failing mark in any subject. But this is a small price to pay compared to the comfort that her family, especially her parents, experience after being freed from the burden of paying her tuition fees.
Aside from her family, Clea also hopes to one day help others by extending free psychological services to her fellow Marikinos, her way of paying back the city that nurtured her. This is exactly the reason why she took up psychology in college, she adds.
“It is really my dream,” Clea says. “When I graduate, I plan to serve the people by giving free counseling, especially to those who are depressed. I want to help poor Marikinos like myself as a way of paying back my scholarship.”
Clea also aims to someday erase the stigma associated with seeing a psychologist or psychiatrist in the country by conducting seminars and educational campaigns. She says undergoing counseling does not mean a person is suffering from any mental disorder.
“I want people to understand that consulting a psychologist does not mean you are already mentally unstable,” she says.
Her father, who works as a security guard, and her mother, an office worker, must be very proud for having such a giving and thoughtful daughter.
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