With barely enough sleep, Romeo “Myong” Mataac, Jr. hopped on a van going to Cavite, a province south of Manila.
He was on a mission to prepare high school students for life after graduation.
Upon arriving at the Sisters of Mary School in Silang, Myong set up to work. Before a group of teenage boys, Myong discussed the secrets behind a perfect resumé. He also shared tips on acing internships, job applications and interviews.
It was a Saturday and Myong could have stayed at home to rest. Instead, he chose to spend the whole day teaching.
Myong does this as a volunteer in Save the Children. “Before students leave school and enter the corporate world, I want to be able to help them prepare and have a better chance at securing a job,” said Myong.
Myong and his other colleagues volunteer as big brothers and sisters to students.
Five days a week, Myong has a day job working for one of the country’s top BPO companies. His shift ends at night, but also works late into the evening as a journalist. Concurrently, Myong writes and edits for his website, featuring news about the island of Marinduque, his hometown.
Despite Myong’s tight schedule, he still finds the time for his advocacies.
“I’ve been volunteering at Save the Children since 2013,” said Myong. “It’s my way of giving back to the community.”
Myong himself was able to finish college because of a non-governmental organization’s support. Now he wants more Filipino youth to be given the same chance.
“I allot my Saturdays, at least twice a month for the community,” Myong said. “I want to inspire children to aspire, act on their dreams, and become productive citizens.”
Myong, believes that learning is a two-way street for both the students and the volunteers. Through the sharing of our own experiences and the wisdom that we have gained over the years, we are able to impart our knowledge to them.
“They’re millennials and I learn a lot from them – their adaptability and even their personal experiences. There is still an overwhelming number of youth who are unable to finish their studies, mainly because of financial difficulty, but if all of us do our part, we can make a positive impact in their development. We can make a difference,” Myong said.
In the Philippines, as government statistics have shown, the dropout rate among high school students currently stands at nearly 7% as of 2015. Youth unemployment and underemployment also remains a cause of concern.
While only in his late 20s, Myong still believes that age is not and should not be a barrier to doing great things. He encourages fellow young working Filipinos to share their time with children.
“If you make an extra effort in helping others, you instantly feel a special kind of self-fulfillment. Just hearing a simple ‘thank you, kuya (big brother)’ is all it takes to make a tiring day a more fruitful and fulfilling one.”
If you think your employer would be interested in partnering with Save the Children, please let us know. Kindly reach our Corporate Partnership Manager, Michael Torres at +632 853-2142 loc 207, +63917 870-7059, or Michael.Torres@savethechildren.org.
Together, we can save more children!
This featured article was originally published in Save the Children’s Website.
About the Author:
Fritzie Rodriguez is a writer and researcher for Rappler. She graduated magna cum laude from the University of the Philippines-Diliman with a degree in Broadcast Communication. She was part of the Philippine team that covered the 2015 Climate Conference in Paris, France. Visit the author’s profile by clicking here.