THE daughter of a fisherman is one of 132 college graduates of the Provincial Government’s valedictorian and salutatorian scholarship program.
Nesmae Desabille, the eldest of nine siblings, received a P5,000 cash incentive for graduating cum laude with a degree in Bachelor of Science in Education, major in mathematics from the Cebu Technological University in Daanbantayan.
During the awarding ceremony held at the Capitol yesterday, her father Nestor, who is 40, said he will do his best to ensure all his children finish college while he is still young and able.
He said his 21-year-old daughter was a consistent first-honor student from kindergarten to high school, studying her lessons with the aid of a lamp.
The Desabilles hail from Sitio Bitoon, Barangay Kinatarcan. Kinatarcan is an island that is part of Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island.
The scholarship program is offered to valedictorians and salutatorians from public high schools around the province.
They get free tuition and miscellaneous fees if they enroll in a government college or university.
The Province also provides them with a monthly allowance until they finish a four- or five-year course.
Nesmae currently works as a cashier in a local mall, while she’s preparing for the teacher’s licensure examination later this year.
She said the P2,000 monthly stipend she received while in college wasn’t enough, so her family still had to shell out for her daily needs like food.
Nesmae admitted that she almost quit school after her family lost their home during super typhoon Yolanda in 2013.
She was in her boarding house in Daanbantayan when the typhoon struck. She was nearly pinned down by a felled coconut tree.
Now that she is done with her studies, she hopes her family can serve as an example to others.
Despite their family’s poverty, she said her parents strove and continue to strive to make sure she and her siblings get an education.