Work Hard, Dream Big: Champion Session with Eva Marie Jocson
Updated: Apr 4, 2022
"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams."
This famous quote by the former First Lady of the United States of America, Eleanor Roosevelt, summarizes our Champions Session for February 2022 with Eva Marie Jocson, a Registered Social Worker and Educator from Tacloban City.
FundLife International, through its flagship program Girls Got This, conducted its first onsite Champions Session last February 3, 2022, since the pandemic hit. A total of 25 young girls from the different villages in Barangay Sto. Niño, such as SOS Village, Coreville, Aeroville, Zone 1-3, and Habitat Village, attended the session.
Just like Lady Roosevelt, Eva is an advocate for various social causes. Previously affiliated with the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 8, she served as a Social Worker and Regional Coordinator for the Inter-Agency Council Against Trafficking, Child-Pornography, and Violence Against Women and Children. She actively campaigned and promoted gender equality, awareness on the issues related to Gender-Based Violence, and empowerment of survivor victims of Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence.
She introduced herself as "Ate Eva" and commenced the Champion session with a series of icebreakers and Getting-To-Know-You activities. As the session progressed, Eva shared secrets on how she achieved her dreams, including how her life experiences taught her many valuable lessons. Her 10 Life Lessons include:
1. There is no concrete formula to success.
This is Eva's first advice to the girls: "The drive in reaching our dreams starts within us." As early and as young as possible, one should learn how to be self-disciplined and understand why it is important in achieving goals in life.
2. Be diligent, be hardworking.
As young girls, they should work hard to achieve their goals. Eva shared with the girls how she strived hard to finish her college education by joining the University's Student Council. This opened many opportunities for her, including a partial scholarship which helped ease financial burdens in her education.
3. It will be a constant struggle.
Every struggle in life is temporary. And there is always a solution to every problem. Heeding her mother's advice, Eva emphasized that whatever situation we are in right now, we should learn to see the good in it, and learn from it.
4. Eyes on the prize, motivate yourself.
There are two types of motivation, as mentioned by Eva: internal and external. She reminisced and shared with the girls that what motivates her to work hard is to make her parents proud (internal) and get to travel around the world (external).
5. Choose the right friends.
Perhaps, this is one of Eva's most important piece of advice to the girls. Choosing the right friends is as important as choosing the right career in the future. Our friends will cheer, help, and inspire us in times of need as they are part of our support system. Having the right circle of friends can help steer us towards the right direction in life.
6. First things, first.
Eva emphasized that finishing their education should be the girls' priority in life. However, she also shared that it is also helpful for young girls to join extracurricular activities such as the programs implemented by FundLife, as these experiences help build character and also open one's doors to develop and socialise more.
7. Get to know yourself better, your values, aspirations in life, etc.
As Eva shared how deeply her aspirations, dreams, and values defined who she was as a person, the girls learned that it is essential to be aware of their values and limitations.
8. Value your education.
There is nothing impossible with hard work and determination. As Eva shared once more about her struggles as a college student, she motivated the girls to find scholarships to sustain their studies. There are a lot of opportunities out there, if we put the time and effort to look for it. Being resourceful is one of the traits that Eva wanted to impart to the girls.
9. Dream big!
Our dreams in life do not necessarily have to be "too ambitious." As Eva shared with the girls, our dream should focus on achieving our goals in life, and making an impact in our respective communities.
10. Be kind and remain grounded.
As we encounter irritating people in our lifetime, Eva said to the girls that it is vital that we should remain kind and not respond in the same way as they do. On the other hand, it is also essential to stay humble and grounded even if we have already achieved our dreams.
After the discussion ended, Eva facilitated a final activity with the girls. Each one was tasked to create and develop their own "career plan," which details their dreams and life goals and timeline to each goal.
As the activity ended, the girls thanked their Ate Eva for imparting numerous valuable lessons and tips to apply to their own lives.
"I learned that it is my responsibility to finish my education, learn how to discipline myself, and value things as a young girl. For me, the career plan is a good way to know what we want in life and how we will achieve them by working hard. After this session, I am now excited to apply all the lessons that I have got from Ate Eva and apply what I have written in my career plan", shared by Marian, 14, one of the girls who attended the Champions Session.
Marian also mentioned how she was thankful that the Champion Session was held face-to-face as it was an opportunity to bond with fellow girls and get to know Ate Eva.
With the resumption of onsite Champion sessions, FundLife hopes to inspire more girls to dream big and believe that they will achieve it through the success stories of the empowered women invited for the session each month.