Former Street Kid Becomes an Ateneo Graduate In Philippines

Everyone should not judge or underestimate a person who lacks opportunity and blessing in their life just because you have it. One good example is this guy named Rusty Quintana who was a former street kid before he graduated in Xavier University – Ateneo De Cagayan.

As we talk about street children, what usually come to mind of everyone are trouble-makers, juvenile delinquents and hopeless abandoned orphans. A street kid who is a college graduate would seem hard to find nowadays. However, despite all the negative labels, there are still a few who have succeeded against all odds, like Rusty Quintana. He was once a kid who wandered Divisoria in Cagayan de Oro, sniffing rugby, running drugs for a syndicate and stealing just to live. But everything changes as he is now a Development Communications graduate from Ateneo De Cagayan.

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Rusty’s early life started with a misadventure when he and his brother arrived in Divisoria, Cagayan de Oro City. At the age of six, he was forced to break the law just to survive because his brother was put in jail for a drug case. He was then adopted by a Catholic Foundation, but left it after four years when his brother was set free. UCA News even mentioned that he was in and out of a center for conflict for children, spent some time in the city jail and spent two years in a youth rehabilitation center due to his activities.

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Back in 2009, the 20-year-old Rusty Quintana lined up at a classroom in Xavier University – Ateneo de Cagayan for a shot at one of the scholarship grants that the university offered. Though unsure that he would get a chance of entering his dream university, he still grabs the opportunity. Rusty was only armed with a diploma from the Alternative Learning System (ALS) of the Department of Education, a proof that he is eligible to enter college that time.

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In 2010, Rusty was admitted to Xavier University with a scholarship. He decided to study Development Communication and Major in Education Communication. He could not believe that time that he got in, much less become a scholar.

And last March 2015, Rusty donned his toga and marched on his graduation day. But even with a college degree, Rusty does not forget where he came from.

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He is now an inspiration of determination to many young people and is now also determined to get more kids off the street.

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