Kalinga teacher drops wisdom on perseverance, straight from her own story

Kalinga teacher Jennifer Pay-yac De Los Santos, a former SPES beneficiary, is instilling the value of hard work in her students, drawing from the lessons passed down by her parents during her childhood.

Jennifer Pay-yac De Los Santos is not your average teacher. She’s a dedicated educator at Spring Academy Casigayan Elementary School in Kalinga, but her impact extends far beyond the classroom.

She’s on a mission to instill the values of hard work and perseverance in her students, drawing inspiration from her own upbringing.

 Jennifer parents the minds and hearts of Grade II pupils, weaving a tapestry of knowledge and values that she hopes will eventually guide them through life’s many journeys,” said the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) in a statement.

Born into a family of hardworking parents—a tricycle driver and farmer father, and a job order administrative aide mother in Tabuk City—Jennifer learned the importance of resilience from an early age.

Growing up with two older siblings, she fondly recalled her parents instilling in them the values of perseverance and resilience.

Despite facing financial challenges, Jennifer didn’t let anything hold her back. She seized every opportunity that came her way, including applying for DOLE’s Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES).

“She seized opportunities for growth and development several times during her school breaks from 2017 until 2022,” recalled DOLE-CAR. The program provided her invaluable support, financial assistance, and professional growth opportunities.

Her determination paid off as she graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Elementary Education degree from Kalinga State University and aced her board exams with flying colors, proving that with hard work and determination, anything is possible.