Sheer determination, perseverance and a little push from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) helped Jerson Ocera land on the top 10 of an engineering board exam.
His notable interest in the intricacies of machines and his excellence in numbers since he was young propelled his dream to become an engineer.
Despite having the required knowledge and skills, reaching his dream was never easy. Now, a proud engineer, Jerson recalled how he was single-handedly raised by his mother. While in school, he worked on several part time clerical jobs to provide himself with allowance and to sustain his school needs.
Before enrolling at the Technical University of the Philippines-Talisay, he applied and luckily was chosen to be one of the Special Program for Employment of Students (SPES) baby in 2018.
SPES is the Department of Labor and Employment’s (DOLE) youth employment-bridging program which aims to provide temporary employment to poor but deserving students, out-of-school youth, and dependents of displaced or would-be displaced workers during summer and/or Christmas vacation or any time of the year to augment the family’s income to help ensure that beneficiaries are able to pursue their education.
More than his wages, it is the SPES values that focused his mindset to reach his goal.
“The program did not only help me financially, but it also trained me to be workplace ready,” Engr. Ocera said.
On his journey he passed a very bumpy road and he wants to serve as an inspiration to aspiring engineers. “It is hard; I have experienced the hardships myself. Just try to create a good routine and it will eventually become your habit. Despite being busy with a lot of stuff to catch on to, listen to your body and prioritize your health. Put God first. If things feel heavy, just have faith, everything will work out in the end. Keep the faith and all your efforts will not be in vain.”
“We admire our former SPES beneficiary for two things; first, for being a topnotcher and, for possessing and internalizing the values that we instill to the youth through our programs. The attitude and ethics he developed towards work will surely bring him to success,” said Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr. who appreciated the strength of character of Engr. Ocera in facing the challenges to achieve his goals.