Age, young or old, can defy against all odds to achieve dreams and ambitions. It’s not about what the norm dictates we should follow but by the time of opportunities with corresponding perseverance, compassion, and hard work.
Like how a janitor showed his diligence as a working student, he also proved that it’s never too late to reach your aspirations.
At a busy age of 38, Emmanuel Ricalde gained a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration major in Business Management. He graduated at De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) and recognized as one of the oldest students in their batch.
It was not a linear path to success. It took him roller coaster of ups and downs just to attain his interrupted dream. He didn’t felt any embarrassment as he received his diploma. In fact, he held it with pride and joy as he remembered his hardships and sacrifices being a janitor by day and student by night.
Ricalde managed to continue his halted tertiary years way back in 2014. He didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity when DLS-CSB was hiring janitors. He signed up for the laborious job and later found out that they were granting scholarships for working students; so he worked and studied.
It was a tedious day for Ricalde back then. He would start off his day as early as 3 AM to commute so he would come beforehand at 4:45 AM for his job. He continues this until 2 PM and takes a four-hour break. When dusks sneak in, he attends his classes until 9 PM.
In this exhausting routine, it was difficult for him to spend time with his family because he leaves home just before they wake up and goes back home just before they close their eyes. Even if he has leisure time, he would spend it by filling his janitorial duties or for his academic performance.
Ricalde exerted a lot of effort and strength and fought the agonizing loneliness. He also endured many difficulties and met tons of challenges.
Amidst all of this with his occupied schedule, he made it. He graduated college, even though he’s 38 years old and was proud of this turning point of his life.
Ricalde reconciled with his family after a long separation for his graduation day. He plans to seek job-related to his course or invest in a business.
He inspiringly shared that if you had a dream, do not let it fade. Instead, keep the fire burning and let opportunities lure in. Grab one and take really good care of it.