Bikes for the World

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Turning Talent Into Triumph

We are writers. We are graphic designers. We are musicians. We are actors. We are dancers. We are painters. We are photographers. WE Are Artists. We ARE Regional Lead School of the Arts.

These students are nurturing their talents and honing their crafts. Some want to use these skills in their careers; some want to come back and teach; some will go on to college; ALL will inspire the world through art.

The Regional Lead School of the Arts (RLSAA) was established in 2004 to help encourage and educate young artists. Today, they are inviting back graduates to continue their educations.

Previously, education in the Philippines was structured so that the academic year ended in what we know as their sophomore year. Those going on to college sometimes had to sit out a few years before being accepted. Because youth are not legally allowed to work until they are 18 this left a significant gap in their lives. 

RLSAA, last year, became one of the roll out schools in the Department of Education's new effort to close the gap by adding the final two years of education to their academic structure.

In addition to increasing the value of their education to students currently enrolled in school, this  also opened the door to previously graduated students to come back and further their educations.

Kwin graduated from RLSAA in 2008. He is now 22 years old and just re-enrolled in school. Kwin loves to dance and he is excited to continue his education in hopes of becoming a teacher to share this passion with his students.

Kwin lives with his father, grandfather, and four brothers and sisters. His commute to school included a 50 minute jeepney ride that cost $1each way. His bike saves him time and money, valuable resources to his family, where Kwin is a huge asset.

Kwin was selected as a bike beneficiary by Bikes for the Philippines to help make the transition back to school easier and lessen the impact on his family.

Thea graduated from RLSAA in 2014 and is now enrolled in college. Thea was among the first beneficiaries to graduate from RLSAA and we are proud to report...she is still riding a bike!

In fact, Thea now works at Skylark's Bike Shop where she picks up a couple shifts a week helping out in the shop. This extra income helps her family with school expenses while she continues studying fine art at the University of Rizal System in Angono.

Thea's boss, Carlo, has offered to pay her school fees next year.

Juni also graduated from RLSAA last year. Juni did not receive a bike through our program, but our bikes had an impact on him and in return he also left an impact on the program. Juni entered a logo redesign contest with Bikes for the Philippines and the current new logo is based on his design.

Juni is now enrolled in a training program at MFI Foundation where he is learning about automobile and motorcycle technology. Berjaiya/Mazda corporation is helping to make this possible.

Juni hopes to become an architect some day and return to RLSAA to train students. 

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