Tough times, no job and a family to support

Angelo talking at his Skills to Succeed graduation.Last year, tough times forced 20 year-old Angelo to move from Baguio to Manila to live with his aunt in the hope of finding a job.

Financial difficulties was what pushed Angelo to leave his hometown and his family behind. His hope was that Manila could offer better job opportunities for someone like him who didn't have a college degree.

Angelo had been attending college and studying for his BSc in Information Technology at the University of Baguio. But during his second year, he felt he had no choice but to drop out – college was expensive and his family needed help with the family finances. His mother who was a domestic helper had lost her job and his father's salary as a security guard was not enough to support the family of six. Angelo felt obliged to find a job so at least his younger siblings could go to school.  He explains what happened:

"I moved to Manila with my aunt last year to find better job opportunities - so I could help support my family. It was a difficult life back home. My mother who was a domestic helper was out of a job, and my father's job as a security guard was not enough to support the family. As the eldest child, I felt that I had to do something."

"I tried applying to a big call center company in Baguio, but I didn't make the cut. The company preferred college graduates, and my credentials weren't good enough for them."

"Then I joined the two-week call center training program held by Save the Children. There, they taught us about English grammar and how to pronounce words properly. We also had to do life skills training where they taught us tips when applying for a job."

"After seeing my potential during the training, one of our instructors [a resource person engaged by Save the Children] referred me to a call center office. He suggested that I send in an application, and to my surprise, the trainer was the Human Resource Director at that office, and I was given an opportunity to work there."

"It was not an easy process to get to where I am now – I had to pass several levels before I got there. During the initial stage, there were 22 applicants vying for the job, but when I reached the third and last level of the employment process, there were only three of us left who actually got job offers."

"My first pay check was for PHP 6,000, and I must admit I was so excited because I don't usually get to hold that much money! Out of excitement, I immediately called my parents to tell them that I had already received my first salary, and I'd sent part of it to them."

"I am really thankful to Save the Children because if it wasn't for them, I would probably still be out of a job today. Programs like the Skills to Succeed project are really helpful to underprivileged youth like me who wish for a brighter future for our families. This gives out-of-school youth hope that there is still a chance for a better life."