Irish Buton and Michael Santos, both 23 years old and residents of Paracelis, Mountain Province, have recently passed the March 2023 Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET). Their story is an inspiration to all teenage parents who are struggling to achieve their dreams.
Irish and Michael were both 18 years old and in 12th grade when they got pregnant. They faced many challenges as teenage parents, but they never gave up on their dreams of finishing their education.
Even at 18 years old, Irish was already carrying an 8-month-old baby bump when she graduated from senior high school with high honors.
Two months after their daughter was born, they took up Bachelor of Elementary Education from the Ifugao State University - Potia Campus and received their diploma in August 2022 with Irish receiving Academic Achievers Award.
The Pressure of the LET
The pressure and stress of preparing for the LET was a challenge, but Irish and Michael were able to manage it because they had each other. They rented a room in Tabuk City, Kalinga, so that they could focus on their studies. They supported each other through the long hours of studying, and they were motivated by the thought of providing a better future for their daughter.
"It was good to have a partner to review with. Since we both had determination, we decided to review together. It's helpful to have someone to lean on, especially when studying is stressful," Irish shared.
Inspiration and Advice
Irish says that what inspired them to even strive harder in the exam was to prove they can still achieve their dreams even they started their family earlier.
"Naging phobia na sa amin yung i-judge kami noon na maagang nagkapamilya kaya ngayon pinapatunayan namin na hindi hadlang ang pagkakaroon ng pamilya kung may determinasyon ka," she conveyed.
With her experience, Irish wants to tell teenage moms and dads not to forget their education as they take care of their family saying, "kahit nadapa, kaylangan bumangon para sa pamilya. Priority ang pamilya pero priority din ang education. Hindi lang future mo ang isipin mo kundi future din ng mga anak niyo."
She acknowledged it is challenging to juggle school and family but having a degree provides better opportunities in the future.
"Mahirap man pagsabayin ang pamilya at pag aaral pero dapat kayanin. If you have willingness to sacrifice and determination, matutupad niyo ang mga plano at pangarap niyo," she asserted.
Now that they are a Licensed Professional Teachers, Irish and Michael's next plan is to get married. They are also excited to start their careers as teachers and to inspire other teenage parents to never give up on their dreams.
Irish and Michael's story is an inspiration to all teenage parents who are struggling to achieve their dreams. It shows that with determination and hard work, anything is possible. If you are a teenage parent who is thinking about giving up on your education, I urge you to reconsider. Irish and Michael are proof that you can still achieve your dreams, even if you have a family.
Please share Irish and Michael's story with other teenage parents who are struggling to achieve their dreams. Let them know that they are not alone, and that it is possible to overcome the challenges of being a teenage parent and still achieve their goals.
Together, let's help spread the message that anything is possible if you set your mind to it.