Stories of Change

The school artworks I saw and the volunteer I have become

 November 26, 2018    

Written by Christian Jen D. Labado
Picture3Christian Jen D. Labado participates during the SaGIFT Aral project.
CAGAYAN DE ORO­–– I used to wonder why some people give their time, effort, and talent for free when they could easily find paid jobs. Volunteering for CheckMySchool (CMS) has changed this poor perception of mine.
Before I became a CMS volunteer, I was working as a disk jockey in one of the local radio stations in Cagayan de Oro. I was also a student majoring in Community Development in a community college. There, I met Mary Ann Villablanca who introduced CMS to me as a non-government initiative that aims to surface school issues for the government to address.
I finally decided to join CMS in 2017. I haven’t visited schools yet, but I was able to participate in the SaGIFT Aral project and visual arts/photo exhibit.
(Read: Discovering students’ artworks in our public schools.)
Picture2Teachers from different public schools in Cagayan de Oro city with CheckMySchool and CWGG volunteers during the Visual Art Exhibit at LimKetKai Center Cagayan de Oro city participated by different public schools on November 23, 2018.
The visual arts/photo exhibit made an impact on me. I saw the world from a different vantage point. I was not fond of artworks, but the students’ paintings, including the abstract ones, connected me to their passion and commitment to their craft. It is this gift of creativity that I thought I could help harness to inspire students to thrive in what they love to do.
Volunteering has molded me better than my previous job. I have come to understand that as a citizen, I have a duty to help every child to be a better person. I can help children create big dreams for themselves, for others, and for the whole community. We start by recognizing their efforts and their work to boost their self-esteem. The photo exhibit was a simple way of doing that.
​I would like to keep myself committed to CMS and be involved more in helping schools. I also hope to encourage young people to volunteer, so they can use their time productively.
Being a volunteer does not necessarily mean you have plenty of time; it also means aspiring to be of help in any way you can. CMS made me realize that we must leave a legacy, not of wealth, but of serving others.

If there’s any issue, problem or anything that you think needs improvement in your school, let us know if CMS can help. Go to

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