Parents Imelda and Jaime Adao received the posthumous diploma on behalf of their son Jaime Jr. who was killed on March 3, 2019. (CTV News)
He was to graduate this year and fulfill his dream of becoming a baker to take over his parent’s bakery business.
Instead, his parents, Imelda and Jaime received his diploma posthumously on June 28 from Booth University College.
Jaime ‘Jimboy’ Adao, Jr.,17, was murdered on March 3, 2019 after an intruder broke into their house where he was alone with his grandma and stabbed him to death.
“I know you’re happy in heaven now, watching down on us,” an emotional Imelda said, speaking to her son “Jimboy” through tears, CTV News reported.
ADAO, JR. was posthumously awarded the honourary diploma in business administration, the first time the college has offered an honorary diploma.
Marjory Kerr, president of Booth University College, presented the diploma to Imelda and her husband Jaime Sr. at the family bakery their son was expected to one day take over. (CTV News)
His death shocked a community and has still left his friends and family reeling.
“You were a kind soul who is always ready to lend a helping hand,” Tec Voc High School valedictorian Mercy Mastura said at the start of her speech at her class’s graduation ceremony.
“You should be here celebrating this moment with us … something tells me you are.”
Imelda and her husband, Jaime Adao Sr., sat next to their five children in the front row at the ceremony that hundreds attended at the University of Winnipeg. The children are visiting from the Philippines and helping the family out. She said the family has sent the grandma back to the Philippines to rest and be with relatives, reports CBC News.
Friends of the slain teen walked into the ceremony holding a large portrait of their friend pictured with a mock high school diploma. The photo was taken before the teen, who was a talented baker, was killed.
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“He is an inspiration to me,” said Arjaye Reyes, one of the teen’s friends who said Adao’s hard work in math inspired him to do more.
“I feel like things happen in life for a reason and we have to learn from them. We have to keep going in life in order to evolve.”
Friends of Jaime Adao Jr. held a photo of the slain teen as they remembered their friend at their high school graduation Thursday night. (Rudy Gauer/CBC)
Matthew Coligado remembered Adao for his skills on the basketball court.
“He’s a really good defender at basketball, that’s for sure,” he said. “I can’t get past him.”
R.V. Reyes said Adao was the nicest person he had ever met and recalled his overwhelming affection for his parents.
“He taught me many lessons such as loving my family to the max,” said Reyes. “I remember being with him every time in the car. Every time we’re going out he always calls his parents to say, ‘Ma, I love you, pa I love you.’
“Now I try to love my parents the same way he sees it. We miss him a lot,” Reyes said.
Awards in teen’s name
Two students were given a Robert-Falcon Ouellette member of parliament award in memory of Adao. The students, Allyza Mae Gasga and Gia Mae Umali, were in the baking and pastry arts program at the high school.
The honorary high school diploma was given to the teen’s parents. Adao went to Tec Voc specifically to become better at culinary arts. His mom said when he went to the school he left all his friends from middle school behind — they went to Kelvin High School. (Rudy Gauer/CBC)
Adao had planned first on going to Red River College to pursue his dream of becoming an executive chef in a hotel he dreamed of owning one day, and then to Booth University College to learn about business.
Jaime Adao Jr.’s classmates paid tribute to him at their graduation ceremony Thursday night. (Austin Grabish/CBC)
“It’s a fulfilment dream,” said Imelda. “We know that he’s happy now.”
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“We would like to thank everybody who’s always supporting us,” added Jaime Sr.
Imelda said she’s now waiting for the men charged in her son’s slaying to go to trial, though she isn’t sure she can face them in person.
Ronald Chubb, 29, faces second-degree murder and attempted murder charges in connection with Adao’s death and Geordie Delmar James, 34, has been charged with manslaughter.