Debunking high school dropout myth

By Ted Alcuitas

(Full disclosure: Maya Lorena Arradaza is my granddaughter)

It has been said that Filipinos has the highest rates of high-school dropouts not only in B.C. but probably in the country.

Studies show that there is a bigger proportion of Filipinos that do not complete high school compared to other ethnic groups.

But  at a Burnaby secondary school – Byrne Creek Community School awards night, Filipinos disproved that notion.

They dominated almost all categories of award – from service, to mathematics, etc. and yes, one of them topped them all.

A 15-year old from New Westminster was Bryne Creek’s top student for Grade 9.

Maya Lorena Arradaza, a third gen student whose mother was born to immigrant parents from the Philippines came up to the stage to claim her second trophy as the school’s best – she was also last year’s top student for Gr. 8.

Arradaza also picked two other awards along the way – excellence in Japanese language and excellence in Graphic Arts.

Dominique Lintao
Among the school’s over 1000 student population, Filipinos were visible in the awards some of whom picked as many as five like Dominique Lintao, Grade 8. Lintao was female athlete of the year, excellence in language development, excellence in physical education.

Others include Evet Guinoo, top Grade 9 Female Athlete of the Year, Riza Gueco, Excellence in Yearbook II, Paul Mateo, Jaren Aguio and Gabreille Bonifacio, Computer Application. Catherine Santa Ana-Home Economics, Kim Ashley Cayabyab-Excellence in Child Development,Russell Masangkay- Excellece in Techonology.

Excellence in English: Ava Isabelle Juan, Lyssa Asirit and Gabrielle Bonifacio.

Excellence Language Learners: Carlos Francia and Heloisa Jacinto. Excellence in French- Gabrielle Bonifacio, Mandarin – Karenn Pedalizao, Spanish – Angelika Hipolito.

Mathematics – Eunice Rustico & Ian Caguiat.

Physical Education – Alexandra Ramos, Justin Sonico , Jovani Opiniano and Jaren Agujo.

Science – Ian Caguiat, Social Studies – Abbie Ramirez, Daniel Baga, Valerie Joy Santos and Reece Avila.

Visual and Performing Arts: Vee-Ann del Pilar, Allyssa Paulino, Abigail Galamgan, Chloe Almendarez and Thea Alfarero.

Music: Miguel Alejo, Kyla Juan, Leanna Villar, Jennifer Lusuegro, Byron Parido and Angelica Angeles.

Principal’s Academic Recognition (overall grade of 90% and above):

Grade 8: Martin Alejo, Jaiden Casapao, Ava Juan and Catherine Sta. Ana.

Grade 9: Miguel Alejo, Alex Balog, Justin Bernardino, Allyssa Paulino, Isaiah Resurreccion and Eunice Rustico.

Grade 10: Jaren Agujo, Alondra-Audrey Barcenas, Angelika Hipolito, Lea Magday And Bernadette Lynn Pingol.

Grade 11: Riza Gueco, Jennifer Lusuegro, Karenn Pedalizo, Valerie Joy Santos, Melvin Torioand Joshua Vallejera.

Academic Achievement Award (top 10 with highest marks)

Grade 8: Lyssa Asirit, Leanne Kiamco and Abbie Ramirez.

Grade 10: Chloe Almendarez

Grade 11: Thea Alfarero, Angelika Angeles, Reece Avila, Gabrielle Bonifacio, Kiana Lim and David Vallejera ( 6 out of 10).

Top Citizenship Award: Gio Dulay.

The achievements of these students from Bryne Creek is something the community should be proud of and should be an inspiration to the youth to hang on there and complete your high school.

And to the community and its leaders, it is high time that recognition should be given to academic excellence in our youth.

Instead of wasting our time and money in galas and beauty contests and concerts we should perhaps be looking at sitting up a scholarship foundation to encourage our youth to aspire for academic achievements.

One organization that is working to address the challenges of our youth is KAMP, acronym for Kababayan Academic Mentoring Program. It recently was awarded A Filipino scholar and a community-led mentorship program will receive the Antipode Foundation Scholar-Activist, one of six awards given this year.

Filipinos will be the largest ethnic population in this country if present trends continue.

What are we doing to prepare for that? Do we have the movers and shakers that are able to take their place in society?

Or will we be always relegated to be be ‘hewers of wood and drawers of water’?

Or even the proverbial ‘hand that rocks the cradle’ but never really able to have a hand in ruling this country.

Share your thoughts with us.