From Carinderia Server to Teacher, This Mother-of-Three Shares Her Inspiring Journey

Even as a child, Ivy Melody Santos Generoso had always wanted to be a teacher. She knew her parents could not afford to send her to college yet wished that someday she could be one.

Working as all-around carinderia server after graduating from high school, Ivy continued to dream of becoming a teacher even as she washed the dishes, served food to customers, and cleaned up the place.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

A grandma sent her to college where she completed her Bachelor of Science in Business Education through a ladderized program, yet this was not enough for her to find a good-paying job. So, she worked as service crew at a fastfood chain and other odd jobs. She also became a vendor to support her family.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

She got married and had three children, but her husband didn’t have a stable job. As they struggled with their daily lives, Ivy thought again about going to school and becoming a teacher. Surely, a teacher’s salary would give them a better life – and it would also be the ultimate fulfillment of her dreams.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

Yet there were people who frowned at her plans.

“Ang hirap balikan kung pano ako nagsimula.Nabiktima ako nang mga taong mapanghusga sa paligid. Kesyo nag-aral lang daw ako para mag buhay dalaga, nag-aral lang para magpaganda. Kung kelan matanda na daw ako saka pa ako nag-aral. Bakit daw nag-anak muna ako bago ko to naisipan etc.”

Going to school with her three kids still very young and also in school would certainly be a challenging thing for Ivy and her husband. Without much money, the major hurdle there is where to find funds for her tuition fee.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

The solution came when she learned that the University of Caloocan City (UCC) offers scholarship for those who pass the test. After consulting her husband and a select close friends, she decided to give it a try. The original plan was to see if they could cope for one semester, but though it was very challenging, Ivy managed to get good grades while also juggling time between her family and her studies.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

“Literal na ginawa kong umaga ang gabi. Gigising ako nang sobrang aga para makapamalengke, makapagluto, maihanda ung kakainin at susuotin nila. Papasok sa school, magmamadali talaga akong umuwi kasi iniisip ko kung kamusta na sila sa bahay. Pagdating ko maglilinis ako nang bahay, maglalaba, mamalantsa at pagtulog na sila saka lang ako makakapag-aral. (So dipo ako nag buhay dalaga at lalong wala po akong oras sa pagpapaganda 😊).”

But finding money to pay for her studies was still something that became a huge challenge for the couple. She was given the chance to apply for a scholarship, but it turned out to be a contest, with plenty of essays she had to write. The prize was such a huge sum of money that Ivy thought it was just too good to be true.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

When her name was announced as the Regional Finalist of Soroptomist International Phils. Region, winning her the scholarship, she didn’t immediately stand up because she could hardly believe she actually made it! Through this win, she was able to continue with her studies without having to spend her own money.

Just like everyone who trained to be a teacher, she went through many difficulties.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

“Mahirap as in literal na hirap ang pinagdaanan ko bago ko matapos ang kursong to. Kailangan maretain ko ang retention grade, mahabang exam, endless reports na minsan patong patong at madalas ako ang nauuna sa lahat ng reports (sometimes i do volunteer myself to not prolong the agony). After every year, may departmentals examination pa na kung hindi ko maipapasa matatanggal ako sa kursong ito.

Tuwing bakasyon sila post ng #SummerGoals. Lumalangoy sa kung saan-saang beach, habang kami lumalangoy sa reviewer. Thankful ako kasi hindi ako pinabayaan nang Dios at dininig nya ang bawat dalangin ko. Bawat taon natatapos ko with a good grades.”

Apart from dealing with her studies and juggling time for her family, she also had to deal with people who are constantly laughing behind her back. There were times when she though about fighting back but realized that the best revenge was proving them all wrong.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

Indeed, she was able to prove them wrong as she graduated from her course of Bachelor of Elementary Education Major in Early Childhood Education as Cum Laude! She also received an assortment of awards throughout her studies.

Photo credit: Ivy Melody Santos Generoso / Facebook

As she graduates from college, this aspiring teacher looks back at her journey and was quite proud to share her story she entitled, “Dating TINDERA/SERBIDORA, Ngayon MAESTRA 👩”. Isn’t that wonderful?

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