SPES experience hatches dream of becoming a lawyer

Atty. Leslie Ann T. Rase (4th from left) shares her success with the DOLE RO 6-Iloilo Field Office and PESO-Tigbauan staff.

From a simple dream of finishing her studies, a young lady made a turnaround in her decision upon engaging in Department of Labor and Employment-Special Program for Employment of Students (DOLE-SPES).

Leslie Ann T. Rase is the youngest and the only daughter among the three children of a carpenter and a housewife at Barangay Dorong-an, Tigbauan, Iloilo.

Though Leslie grew up in a home where every day is all about making both ends meet yet she managed to finished her secondary education at Tigbauan National High School in 2011. She was not able to pursue her tertiary education the following year due to financial problem. She has to give way for her two brothers who were then trying their luck to become successful seafarers.

“I need to stop and help our parents. That is why, I grabbed the opportunity to work at the local government unit of Tigbauan, Iloilo as an out-of-school youth beneficiary of the DOLE-SPES,” said Leslie Ann.

She was assigned at the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Tigbauan, Iloilo where Leslie Ann’s dream of becoming a lawyer blossomed.

“I was amazed at how huge the impact of a single ordinance and resolution can make to the municipality and its people. My work experience as a SPES beneficiary at the Office of the Sangguniang Bayan inspired me to become a lawyer”, she added.

After her brothers finished their studies, she took up Bachelor of Arts in Political Science at the University of San Agustin in 2014-2017, and pursued her degree in Juris Doctor in 2018-2021 at the same institution. After graduation, she took the 2020-2021 licensure examination for lawyers and passed.

What she learned from DOLE is more than the P277 per day salary she received as a SPES beneficiary during that time. She was thankful that she was able to work under the program. She has helped her parents during those hard times that her brothers were going to school, and it was because of SPES experience that inspired her to dream.

“If you are given the opportunity to dream, dream big. Together with your hard work and determination, our Lord will find ways for you to reach your dreams”, her message of inspiration to her fellow youth.

“We are happy that our program has contributed to the success of Atty. Leslie Ann Rase.  We hope that she will continue to carry the values she learned from us and help us uphold workers’ rights and welfare, promote social justice, and serve as a model among the youths to aim high, work hard and reach their goals,” said Regional Director Atty. Sixto T. Rodriguez, Jr.

Former Tigbauan Mayor Suzette T. Alquisada, herself a lawyer, was also thankful of Leslie Ann’s achievement-not only that Tigbauan has produced another lawyer, but because the implementation of the SPES in the municipality proved to be an effective tool to poor but deserving students and out-of-school youths.

“I am very proud of what Leslie Ann has achieved; for taking the opportunity to join the SPES, which, who would have thought, be the start of her journey as a lawyer”, said Mayor Alquisada.

Atty. Leslie Ann T. Rase is now working at a law firm and, if given the opportunity, plans to go back to government service where her dream was hatched and provided her inspiration for its realization. (DOLE)