LIVING OUT THE MISSION: The Power of an ANHS Graduate
“I need to make something of myself.” These words were what Jordon uttered when asked why he enrolled at the ANHS. He was then 18 years old. It was his first time to enroll again since he stopped schooling at 13 years old. He had a sad, challenging life of being away from home and fending for himself. He had no help from his parents because of complicated domestic challenges.
Mr. Rheal Dayrit, then ANHS Principal, gave his application a nod on one condition: remove the tattoos on his arm and neck. A proposal in exchange for the opportunity to be in the Adult Night High School.
Unwilling to be embattled by circumstances, and without hesitation, Jordon had his tattoos removed. Such was the beginning of a new chapter in Jordon’s life. He was excited to experience the ‘Lasallian education’.
Not a mere educational institution
Born with a flair for words, sense and wit, it was natural for teachers and classmates to give Jordon’s name as class representative in academic competitions. His innate love for reading and writing prepared him to compose remarkable literary outputs that translated to countless awards. This, too, earned him a slot in the editorial board of Punlad, the official newsletter of ANHS as well as the Student Council. To top it all, his was a constant name in the roster of honor students. He was looked up, adored, molded to be a (Lasallian) leader. ANHS felt like the peaceful home he has since longed for, where he felt accepted and encouraged.
Then came English class in his junior year. Of all subjects, Jordon knows he is most adept in this. However, one quiz in English led him to a heartbreaking failure. And he even had good intentions to begin with.
With almost all the members of his class barely making it to the passing score on that Shakespeare quiz,
imagine Miss Bernadette Nolasco, the English teacher’s shock that the other section’s students scored very high on the same quiz. She felt confused and felt something might have gone ‘wrong.’ Confronted by guilt, Jordon admitted to Miss Berna it was he who shared the coverage of the quiz, without realizing that his friend from the other class capitalized on this and eventually shared the information with the rest of his class.
With the incident, Jordon was ripped off of awards come graduation. He was the candidate for valedictorian.
With a heavy heart and after much discernment, Jordon learned one important thing: to be committed to honest work and truthful words. Awards and recognition would fade, but integrity won’t.
Jordon pursued a college degree through a scholarship, which he augmented with part-time jobs. Though he didn’t set out to be a teacher, perhaps he felt the calling – a chance to give back, an opportunity to be the one giving help this time.
Walking the same path, close to the mission
In the year 2016, Jordon returned to LSGH, this time as a high school teacher of the English department.
To this day Sir Jordon, as he is fondly addressed by his students, vividly recalls how his alma mater encouraged him to be a better version of himself. It was in the turbulent years of his life that he was introduced to the selfless and noble mission of St. John Baptist de la Salle through the caring albeit stern guidance of his teachers.
On giving back
“Age is but a number.” This is one mantra Jordon learned early on in life. His childhood may have been tough, but he is grateful for it taught him the value of love and of hard earned money. He graduated secondary school at the age of 23 but he sees this as no stumbling block for him to get a degree in college and make something of his life.
Looking back at his ANHS days, Jordon only has good words about the school that nourished him holistically. Countless times he witnessed the generosity of hearts of the Lasallian Community: the Brothers, the ‘cornerstone of the school,’ the faculty and personnel, the parents, alumni and many others who, in one way or the other, have lived out the mission of St. La Salle.
This is Jordon’s way of giving back – the student is now a teacher.