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Julie Anne's story

“I know I can give my family the decent life that we deserve.” Julie Anne, the Philippines

Julie Anne is 20 years-old and studying hospitality and culinary arts at Punlaan, in the Philippines. After graduating from secondary school, she wanted to continue studying, but didn’t have the means to do so. Without going to school, she felt lost. 

“I knew I had to go out of my comfort zone to be able to grow, discover and learn new things, but my parents did not have any money to pay for my studies,” she says. “That is when I heard of the opportunity of a scholarship at Punlaan School.”

At Punlaan, Julie Anne has not only gained professional skills, but has also experienced personal development. 

“I have learnt to be patient, responsible, courageous, flexible, to have perseverance, to be respectful and to be self-reliant,” she says. “I have learnt communication skills and to help those in need.”

As part of her studies, Julie Anne was paired with a mentor, who has inspired her to work hard and supports her through challenges that arise.

“She helped me understand that demanding situations will not last forever, and things will get better in time,” Julie Anne says.

Her experience at Punlaan has led her to share her story with others, and inspire them to follow in her footsteps.

“Whenever my friends, family and neighbours ask where I studied, I always proudly tell them Punlaan School,” she says. “The school gives many young women from poor backgrounds an opportunity to pursue their dreams. They feel inspired that although they lack the financial means from their own families, they get a chance at a better life.”

Before Punlaan, Julie Anne thought she wanted to be a flight attendant, but she has now realised she has a passion for cooking and culinary arts. She currently has a work placement at a cafe, where she has strengthened her problem-solving and customer serivce skills.

“In five years, I see myself working on a cruise line, running a kitchen and enjoying every day there,” she says. “It excites me because I know I can give my family the decent life that we deserve.”