Cebuana is finalist in international student award-A A +A
Thursday, October 17, 2013
MANILA (Updated) -- A Cebuana was chosen as one of the 13 finalists for the New South Wales (NSW) International Student of the Year Award, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said Thursday.
Cherry Bo Fernandez, a 20-year-old Filipino student from Cebu who is currently studying in New South Wales (NSW), was recognized as one of the finalists for the award in a recent ceremony at the iconic Sydney Opera House, the department said in a statement.
Fernandez is currently a Year 12 student of Casula High School in the suburb of Casula 25 kilometers southwest of Sydney.
Jennifer Fletcher, principal of Casula High School, said that Fernandez was voted by the school’s 600-member student body as vice-captain for her outstanding leadership and for her willingness to listen and to take initiative.
She also represented her school in several conferences and seminars for young women leaders, donated blood, and helped organize fundraising activities for charitable causes such as Legacy Day, Bandaged Bear Breakfast and Jeans for Genes Day.
She also gives up two hours of her time each week to help primary school students learn how to read.
Fletcher said that Fernandez is a credit to her school, to the community, and to her country, the Philippines.
Quoting Fernandez, the DFA said that she was surprised to be nominated and that she is only interested in helping others.
She said her parents in Cebu were thrilled to learn of her achievement.
“I called my parents over the phone… They were also excited knowing that they're quite many international students, but I was chosen as a finalist,” she told Sun.Star.
Fernandez is staying with the family of Filipino-Australian Jean Wagas Perez, also from Cebu, who is her guardian while she is completing her secondary education in NSW.
Consul Marford Angeles congratulated Fernandez for making not only her family, but all Filipinos in NSW proud.
He said that by exercising her leadership skills in school and by sharing her time and skills with the community, Fernandez is an excellent example to the Filipino youth.
Asked about her message to the Filipino youth, Fernandez said: “Everything works well if you try hard. Don't think about what you might get from it, but just do it. Usually, kung di ka maghuna-huna about sa imong benefit, may doble man ang grasya nga ihatag sa Ginoo sa imo.”
Fernandez is one of 13 finalists from 11 countries representing a range of educational sectors, including higher education, vocational education and training, schools and English language program.
Of the finalists, Tong Sheng Ch’ng of Malaysia won the award for Higher Education, Joseph Park of South Korea won the award for Vocational Education and Training, Junxi Tian and Yuhan Yang of China won the award at the Secondary School Level, and Leticia Luiz of Brazil won the award for English Language Intensive Courses for Overseas Students. (SDR/Sunnex)