In the heart of Lubo, Kibungan, Benguet, a determined spirit named Demvia Acosta Maslian, a proud Igorot, began her journey as a farmer's daughter. Her childhood was marked by labor in the rice fields and planting sweet potatoes, shaping her resilient character from a tender age.
An Unexpected Twist
Demvia's path took an unforeseen turn when, at the age of nine, she moved to Baguio City to pursue her education. However, financial constraints loomed large, and her family couldn't afford to send her to high school.
A Beacon of Hope: Little Flower Convent
In Baguio City, a beacon of hope emerged in the form of Little Flower Convent, where Franciscan nuns extended a helping hand. Offering free board, lodging, and a scholarship in exchange for her labor, they provided Demvia with the opportunity to continue her education.
Nurturing Dreams in the Kitchen
During her initial two years, Demvia worked diligently in the convent's kitchen and served as a refectory helper. Gradually, she transitioned to the front desk, assuming the role of a receptionist. These experiences laid the foundation for her resilience and work ethic.
A Blossoming Academic Journey
Undeterred by challenges, Demvia earned her Bachelor's in Secondary Education, majoring in biology, at Saint Louis University. Her teaching career commenced in 2001 at Baguio City National High School, where she imparted knowledge in various scientific disciplines.
Across Continents: Teaching and Learning
In 2007, Demvia ventured to Los Angeles, California, as part of the Teacher Exchange Program. Despite the expiration of her visa contract, she returned to the Philippines, setting the stage for an international teaching odyssey.
Mastering Challenges: Education in the USA
The pursuit of knowledge led Demvia to Horatio, Arkansas, in 2011, where she taught chemistry while simultaneously pursuing her Master's in Science Education with a focus on Advanced Instructional Studies at Henderson State University.
Settling in Success: New Mexico, USA
Navigating visa complexities, Demvia moved through different states before finding her anchor in Roswell, New Mexico. Currently serving as an Assistant Professor at New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI), she has made waves in academia.
Championing STEM: A Legacy Unfolds
Demvia's passion for STEM education shines through her active role as a sponsor and founder of NMMI's STEM Club. The club's accolades include being crowned Champions for the New Mexico Governor's STEM Challenge in 2019 and 2020.
Beyond Borders: Recognitions and Achievements
In 2020, Demvia's STEM Club students entered the Southeast Regional Science Fair, securing second and third place overall. This remarkable feat catapulted them into the esteemed Regeneron Science and Engineering Fair (INTEL) in 2021, a testament to their scientific prowess.
A Second Triumph: Mastering Education Affordably
In May 2021, Demvia graduated with her second Master's degree, a Masters in Science Teaching with a specialization in biology from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Remarkably, she achieved this with only 1% of her total tuition fees, courtesy of scholarships from the state of New Mexico, the university, and NMMI's Faculty Development Grant.
Summer of Research: A ROSE Scholar Emerges
Summer 2021 saw Demvia as one of the eight Research Opportunities for Science Educators (ROSE) Scholars. Participating in a project aimed at addressing substance abuse in New Mexico, she collaborated with Dr. Yi He and research assistant Amy Stevens, making a meaningful impact in just four weeks.
A Message of Inspiration
Through her incredible journey, Demvia Acosta Maslian, a proud Igorot from Lubo, Kibungan, Benguet, aims to inspire the youth of the Cordillera, especially those without financial privileges. Her mantra, "Hard work and sacrifices equal success," resonates as a guiding light for aspiring minds.
Demvia Maslian's Remarkable Journey
Demvia Maslian's life tells a powerful story-a journey from growing up in the rice fields of Kibungan, Benguet, to becoming a respected professor in New Mexico, USA.
Impact of Education
Demvia's story emphasizes how education can change lives. Starting from a modest background, she went from Benguet to New Mexico, proving that education isn't just about learning but can transform individuals and communities.
Resilience and Passion
Demvia's journey is a tale of resilience and passion. Her unwavering dedication to her dreams, combined with a strong love for learning, shows what's possible in the face of challenges. It's an inspiring example for others to overcome obstacles and chase their goals.
As we wrap up this part of Demvia's story, it becomes a lesson for everyone. It's not just about the doors education can open but also about the power of believing in oneself. Demvia's experience is an encouragement for all to see education as a way to personal and collective growth and to trust in their own potential.
In short, Demvia Maslian's journey is more than a personal tale; it's an invitation for each reader to see education as a tool for positive change and to believe in their own abilities.