Sunday, June 15, 2008

AV Herrera: A Filipina Whizkid In the United States!

I came across this piece of news from ABS-CBN about the triumphs of AV Herrera, a 17-year-old Filipina, who made good in the United States. AV Herrera graduated from Westmoor High School with top honors! But wait, there's more! The Filipina whizkid has a 4.3 grade point average, which has become her ticket to be accepted as a freshman in Harvard and Standford universities! And I kid you not!

Without further ado, here is the story in its entirety.
To AV Herrera and her mom: You make us proud! Mabuhay!

ABS-CBN Graphic

The Filipino community in Daly City is proud of the achievement of 17-year-old AV Herrera who recently graduated from secondary school with top honors.

Herrera, who immigrated to US in 2005, finished as valedictorian of the Westmoor High School.

Her 4.3 grade point average became her ticket to be accepted as a freshman in Harvard and Standford universities.

But while she's contemplating on what school to choose and if it seems that her entry is a dream come true, Herrera said that life in the US isn't that easy.

“Akala ko pagpunta ko dito, maganda ang America, ganyan. Pero pagdating ko, nakita ko ring mahirap ang buhay," Herrera said, as she narrated how she fought her way to the top.

Before immigrating to the US, Herrera was a scholar at the Philippine Science High School in Quezon City.

Her mother, Bernadette, worked hard to be able to take her three children to the US and invest in their education.

Mrs. Herrera went to the US in 2000. She initially worked illegally for three years before she was given her legal papers.

“Kung hindi kami nagtatrabaho, hindi kami makakakain sa maghapon. wala kaming sasakyan. Wala kaming bahay. Nagre-rent lang kami ng isang kuwarto, pero tatlo ang anak ko. Pero nabubuhay kami ng maayos," Mrs. Herrera said.

The Herrera family said that life in the US is hard but they found support from new friends in the Filipino community.

Now, Herrera, who dreams of becoming a human rights lawyer someday, is also working as a coordinator of the Filipino Community Center.

Her mother, meanwhile, has this message to Filipinos who are also dreaming of making it big someday.

"Kung ano man ang darating na panahon, kung ano ang plano niya sa buhay, huwag niyang kalimutan ang kanyang pinanggalingan,” she said.

"The AnitoKid is proud of AV Herrera!"

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