2011-2012: Collen Bunyi

From the very first batch of highschool graduates South Mansfield College (SMC) had produced, it is with great joy and excitement to see how much the school had grown not only in academics but also as part of the community. Staying true in keeping A.V.I.D as part of our lives, SMC continuously exposes its students to different opportunities both inside and outside the school.
It is because of this institution and the people who stood beside me, that I am able to stand where I am today. Many years back, I stepped into South Mansfield College as a transferee in the middle of the academic year. Everybody in my class already had their group of friends, and there I was, a new face. As an introvert, it was difficult for me to start conversations but the warm atmosphere made everything a little less burdensome. If we are talking about success stories, I can still remember the very first test score I got – 72 in science – but despite having one of the lowest test scores on that exam, SMC still saw the potential in me and even challenged me to go after the podium to deliver a speech on graduation. They taught us that success can still be found in stillness or even when you are behind.
From that shy girl who could barely talk in front of the class to discussing reports to top management and delivering speeches to various institutions, I can say that SMC had helped me grow into a more confident individual. However, to tell you how it has been for just me since graduating would feel like confining SMC’s reach to a single person, so let me share to you a glimpse of life beyond the red-blue-and-green for, as the millennials would say, the OGs.
It has been almost a decade and it makes me ecstatic to see how far our batch has gone since parting ways last 2012. Today, some of us are already licensed professionals, soon to be doctors or lawyers, business owners and company leaders. If you happen to pass by SM Aura, you may have already seen the multi-level obstacle course race facility there of which the project design, construction and facilities management was led by one of our alumni. Maybe you’re a foodie, and you happen to buy milktea from that place in Katarungan Village which is also owned by one of SMC’s graduates. In the end, no matter where we all are now, we all found our own version of the podium.
Life is not all about the wins, it’s also about the lessons and having the courage to move forward. Ironically, SMC was not my school of choice initially but it continuously chose to hone me, believe in me and push me to become a better version of myself. Nobody knows what lies in the future but our past and present prepares us to embrace the unpredictability of tomorrow with more courage, wisdom and serenity – which is what SMC did.
With so much uncertainty around us today, it may seem like we are losing grip of all the things we desire, but pauses are not endings and endings can spark new journeys. SMC trained us to be fighters and, in the end, we will always be Royals.

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