Published Thu, Jun 14, 18. Written by Teresa Anderson.
March 28th, 2018 marked the day 16 young men and women graduated from the Bohol Deaf Academy!
Graduation day brought joy and gratefulness to the students of Bohol Deaf Academy (BDA). The graduates and their parents celebrated the long-anticipated day with a graduate procession, Moving Up Ceremony, and Recognition Rites. A roller coaster of emotions flooded the graduates, their families, and teachers as they remembered the past and felt hope for the future.
Mrs. Marilou Hinlo, the Guest Speaker and a teacher for the Deaf in Jagna SPED Center, felt honored by the invitation to speak at the ceremony where eight out of sixteen graduates were once her elementary students. She inspired the graduates saying, “You are all capable. You are all deserving. It is in belief, courage, patience, and hard work that will surely lead you ahead and give you a bright future.”
One of the exciting things about this graduating class is that it has two sets of brothers and sisters graduating together – Charlie and Cheryl Mae Wahing and Eric and Eva Besinga. The siblings are among the students who excelled at BDA. Charlie received the Mayor Leadership Award, Service Award, and Athlete of the Year Award while Cheryl was the seventh honors in class. Eric was also an Athlete of the Year, Performing Ambassador of BDA, and Service Awardee while Eva was the fifth honors and an Artist of the Year.
One of the parents, Mrs. Carmen Madelo, shared her gratitude to BDA at the graduation for teaching deaf children the skills to make a living. She recalled how disheartening it was for her son, William, to be rejected several times from attending other schools because of his situation. Without BDA, William would have never received a quality education. Mrs. Madelo said she can’t help but feel proud of all of the children for accomplishing this milestone in their lives.
While every single person should have access to a quality education, not all deaf children or adults in the Philippines receive one. Graduation is a huge step for these 16 deaf young adults. IDEA will continue to support many of these students even after graduation as most of them will be employed and trained by IDEA-supported organizations.
Thank you to all of our supporters who make IDEA and these graduations possible!