DAVAO CITY - Poverty did not halt Fahadale Abbas' dream to become a policeman, but rather, he used it to strive hard not just to surpass life's battles, but to aim for the highest achievement.
The Davaoeño, who got a 91.20 percent rating, ranked first out of more than 19,000 who passed, and over 43,000 who took the criminologist licensure examinations held last November 2019.
"Before I graduated, I just continuously read and study from morning to evening," he said in vernacular.
After finishing high school in a rural district of Marilog town, he still pursued college in St. John Paul II College of Davao, and his farmer parents could not pay for his studies anymore.
"During elementary years, I experienced going to school without allowance, slippers, and without food," he recalled.
Fahadale applied and admitted to the Scholarship on Tertiary Education Program (STEP) of Davao City government to be able to finish his studies.
"We believe in them. We gave them good education, kasi ang goal ng school is to really help these students have a better life, kaya we push them, we motivate them, para mag-excel sila, para maka-ahon sila sa kahirapan," said Dr. April Evangelista, executive vice president of St. John Paul II College.
Even if he bested thousands of examinees throughout the country, Fahadale said he still wants to be assigned in his community in Marilog when he becomes a policeman, expressing his gratitude to Davao City for the scholarship and the school that helped him.