READ: Uplifting Story of an Ex-Offender Who Finished High School with Distinction

About a week ago, we’ve shared with you, 11 inspiring graduation stories that prove education has no limit. We might have to update it to 12. Because this story of an ex-offender in Quezon City, who finished High School inside the prison, will truly be your source of inspiration today.

He is Victorio Principe, a 20-year-old youngster who got caught and detained at the Quezon City Jail for carrying drugs last 2013.

According to the story shared by the Quezon City Local Government Facebook page entitled: “Victor’s Tale of Reform, Redemption, and Success,” he finished his High School through the ALS program while in prison. He was released in June 2015.

QC excon graduates

Photo credit: Quezon City Local Government Facebook page

ALS or Alternative Learning System is a parallel learning system of the Philippines that provides free education implemented by the Department of Education (DepEd).  It is a practical option to those who do not have or cannot access formal education in schools. ALS includes both the non-formal and informal sources of knowledge and skills.

exconvict graduates QC

Last May 2nd, Victorio visited QC Mayor Herbert Bautista, and as stated in the post, he was one of the “topnotchers of the city’s high school graduates, who gained an average of 99 percent in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program equivalency exam, landing the 4th highest in all Quezon City passers.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Herbert Bautista believes that youth offenders like Victorio must be given chances to rectify their mistakes and become more productive members of their families and communities. In fact, to further redeem himself and serve as an inspiration to others, the mayor granted him a full scholarship to a four-year course at the Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU).

Read the full post below:

On May 2, Mayor Herbert M. Bautista received a special visitor at his office. He met with one of the topnotchers of the city’s high school graduates, who gained an average of 99 percent in the Alternative Learning System (ALS) program equivalency exam, landing the 4th highest in all Quezon City passers.

Victorio Principe, 20, was once an inmate at the Quezon City Jail. He was jailed in November 2013 after he was caught working as a courier/ runner for a drug group.

Victorio finished his high school through the ALS program while in prison. He was released in June last year and came back only for the graduation ceremonies.

During past interviews with media, Victorio said that after finishing grade school, he was forced to work in a construction site to earn a living for the family. He said he saw the ALS as an opportunity to finish high school and lift his family from poverty.

“Hanggang Grade VI lang po kasi natapos ko at kailangan na huminto kasi kinailangan magtrabaho sa construction dahil wala na kaming kakainin.” (I only finished Grade VI. I had to stop schooling because I needed to work in construction so I could put food on the table.)

Mayor Bautista believes that youth offenders like Victorio, must be given chances to rectify their mistakes and become more productive members of their families and communities.

Seeing the young man’s fervent desire to change and succeed, the mayor offered to help Victorio fulfill his dream of finishing his studies to help his family. He gave the young man a full scholarship to a four-year course at the Quezon City Polytechnic University (QCPU), hoping that his story would serve as an inspiration to others: that it is never too late to seek change to succeed in life.

A French poet and novelist once said, “He who opens a school door, closes a prison.” 

Congratulations, Victorio and we wish you all the best.

How about you, do you think everyone deserves a second chance? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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