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Mrs. Dallas International's Platform

In this blog, I will be discussing my platform! It is a problem that I would like to champion, and a special cause that is significant to me. It is an issue that I am most passionate about, because I have lived my life's journey sailing on this boat. I will also talk about what I have been doing about this problem, how my efforts as a local titleholder have so far made an impact in my Dallas and Philippines community; as well as what I will continue to do with my advocacy long after I win the Mrs. International 2023 Crown! Folks, this is my legacy, and so the journey continues...



The Problem

The issue I have identified and relate to from my unique and personal experience is that, many children are not fortunate enough to finish their education and therefore fail to attain a sustainable income in their life or satisfactory source of livelihood once reaching adulthood. Growing up in the Philippines, which is a developing country, it was common that many students fail to succeed in the field of academics. The primary issues behind it emanate from poverty, the lack of adequate resources and government funding, ranging from scarcity of food, to inadequate school supplies and materials, shortage of basic educational necessities like bags, shoes, and books, among many others. The absence of these basic human needs as the student pursues education eventually leads them to dropping out from school. According to UNICEF (United Nations Children's Fund), in the Philippines, the number of out-of-school youth rose at the onset of the pandemic from 16.9% in January 2020 to 25.2% later in April 2020. This was based on a study released by the US Agency for International Development in November 2021. As a result, these dropouts may struggle finding a decent job or a steady flow of income, all from the lack of skillset or degree. Moreover, the absence of sustainable income may unintentionally lead these folks to resort to criminal activities and possible homelessness; truly becoming a burden to our society. Thus, the cycle of illiteracy and poverty goes on...


Even in such an affluent community (compared to most cities in the Philippines) such as the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, statistics show that a lot of students still fail to finish their degrees (G.E.D. or otherwise). When my family and I immigrated to the 'promised land', The United States of America in 2001, I had hoped that through my hard work, my children would not have to suffer like my friends, loved ones and classmates once did in the Philippines. I had imagined that there would be an abundance of educational support and resources, plus the greater opportunities that America would be able to offer them. Yet, my three children who attended high schools and universities in DFW came home to tell us all about the students who had to do things like sell drugs to their classmates to make a living, and sometimes take away or hassle clothes, shoes, and school supplies from other fellow students. This is most likely because they themselves do not have those necessities! In conclusion, there exists many disadvantaged children belonging to low-income families, first generation immigrants and school communities spread throughout Dallas that need our attention and dedicated support!


According to the most recent study (released June 13, 2022) conducted by The IDRA (Intercultural Development Research Association idra.org) regarding the rates of attrition and dropout (attrition rates are an indicator of a school's ability to keep students in school and learning until they graduate) in the state of Texas, it accentuates the fact that Texas Public Schools are losing "one out of five students". This means that every hour, ten students are dropping out! Moreover, the statewide attrition rate is 19% (which translates to the fact that 19% of the freshman class of 2017-2018 left prior to graduating in the 2020-2021 school year. In the same study, it showed that schools are twice as likely to lose Hispanic or Latino and African-American students compared to Caucasian students before they graduate.


With all of this statistics in mind, I see the imminent need to keep our students in school until they succeed and graduate! I see it most especially in higher education, where our country is training, generating and producing the future work force. There is a need for our community to come together and address these issues to keep our students in school and accomplish their education! According to an article by Miriam Jordan studies have shown that college graduates earn $1 million more over their lifetime than those with a high school degree, as well as become more civically engaged, have better health and overall quality of life!


Indeed, there is a call for someone to help champion the cause of education, most especially for students coming from low-income families, first generation immigrants and disadvantaged scholars in underserved communities throughout Dallas, TX. I would like to be that champion, and serve the Dallas community as what I have been doing in my home country, the Philippines!



My Solution

Education is to allow the good in every person to break through the rock that imprisons it and bring it into the light where it can blossom and shed its radiance.” -St. Marie Eugenie of Jesus (Foundress Religious of the Assumption)

I have several solutions in mind, that I have implemented to approach this issue on supporting students stay in school and ultimately finish their educational pursuits including development of skillset. First, I have reached out to non-profit organizations in the Dallas community that already provide proven solutions to those issues I mentioned. My hope is that by being a marketing tool with my voice and influence, I can help inspire and spread awareness to others who do not know about the existence of these hard-working groups. Some of them have such tried-and-true solutions that I will try to become a bridge to connect these non-profit foundations to people in and out of the Dallas community.


Second, I will continue to dedicate my personal time, funds and efforts by volunteering and initiating activities with these charitable organizations in order to raise funds for their projects. With my title and platform, I will serve as the organization's ambassador, where through their creative solutions, my dream of being a champion of indigent scholars can come true!


Third, I will continue to utilize existing social media platforms and organizations I belong to, to campaign and speak about my advocacy. By conducting talks and participating in interviews both online and during events, I will raise awareness, educate, provide statistical information, persuade and shed light on the issues surrounding the necessity for our community to come together and support the needs of our students so they may finish their education.


Fourth, I will continue my work on my personal charity project back in my hometown called Iloilo City where I grew up, in the Philippines. Wherein for the last decade, my family and I have been working together to serve and support our neighborhood children with their needs. My outreach project, called "A Promise Of Tomorrow" consists of conducting feeding programs at least twice a year and giving away of school materials such as books and school supplies to the impoverished members of our community.


Because most of these disadvantaged folks are limited with their resources and support, then I believe that it is our responsibility to pay forward and share the kindness around us. In the end, as long as we have done all that we can as a community to support these disadvantaged scholars, and make them realize that there are people out there whose mission is to truly care, support, provide resources, and encourage education, then we have performed our part! This, I hope would restart the cycle of kindness, wherein once they end up in a position where they can give back to their community, they will ultimately do the same. These are some of the solutions I have been working on!



The Impact

"Be the change that you wish to see in the world!" -Mahatma Gandhi

What I have done for Dallas, Texas so far, is communicate with non-profit organizations with missions I believe in, and relate to the problem I identify with. One of the organizations I am working with conducted a study and found that 90% of guardians reported how their children desired to return to school after receiving a nice pair of shoes. This means their children finally found the confidence they needed to continue their education, and were inspired to go to school. This organization is called Pasos For Oak Cliff (Click me for link) and I have been volunteering as Mrs. Dallas International for this non-profit by organizing the winter shoe drive in my place of work to further their goals in "tackling the inequities in K-12 education."


Another organization I have been working with is called ScholarShot.org which uses a proven formula to help provide over 90% of drop-outs that enrolled with the organization, their associate and/or undergraduate degrees. This organization does things like assign an academic manager to an aspiring student, provide financial support through scholarships, and personal mentoring through the help of volunteers, in order to achieve their mission of helping those drop-outs finally earn their degree.


Furthermore, the impact of working with these organizations is that they have bright ideas that are currently already in place, for over a decade. The leaders and founders of those organizations understood the issues in the Dallas community. All I did was find them, reach out to each one of them, volunteered my time, service and resources, believe in their missions because it aligns with my own, and then use my influence to spread awareness!


In the Philippines, the outreach program that I have been conducting together with my family for several years now, called "A Promise Of Tomorrow", has served to motivate and incite the children in our community to go to school and graduate. Using my life as a living example, I have served to inspire them to attain education. Throughout the years, my show of support and encouragement has sustained a sense of reassurance to our less-fortunate neighbors and prompted the children to stay in school, as well as realizing the importance of finishing their education in the hopes of attaining a better life. Aside from this, I have also rendered support and raised funds for an organization called "Share Kindness Project" (by John Garingalao) whose programs, mission and vision aligns with my own. with My dream has always been to inspire them that by finishing their education, (just as I have achieved), that one day, they too, will be able to attain a better and brighter future!


Education empowers a person to become a dignified human being. That is what I believe in. Which is why, Mahatma Gandhi said it best in his quote which I live by in becoming a servant leader in the push towards changing the world, one scholar at a time.


The Future

"Where there is A Dream, there is a Way!" - unknown

As Mrs. Dallas International, it is my mission to promote my legacy on encouraging eight billion people on this earth to prioritize attaining education. along this line, it is imperative that we reach out and support most especially the disadvantaged members of our community to stay in school and graduate. Part of my mission is to broadcast knowledge of organizations I have partnered with, who have existing and proven solutions related to the overarching problem of attrition and dropouts. These organizations are limited in their financial resources due to lack of public support and awareness. Thus, I hope that my presence will bring forth that missing piece of information for these existing programs to thrive more. Should I win, I will continue my efforts with these great projects, but will now have a voice that I can leverage to raise the success of these programs and more. Because if they can provide the necessary support for students, then those students can finish their education. When those students finish their education, then the gateway for opportunity opens up for them. Then one day, maybe one of those students I have indirectly helped will come back as the next Mrs. Dallas International, and restart the cycle!


4 Comments


Guest
Oct 30, 2022

I love your platform! A truly blessing for the community you serve and a true definition of beauty and brain:)

- Cristina

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Guest
Oct 20, 2022

So proud of you!

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Proud of you sis!!!❤

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Guest
Oct 14, 2022

I love your platform! First of all, I appreciate how well organized you made it. The flow was great too and I was able to completely understand your agenda. I look forward to the work you continue to do and the changes you will make in your community! Love, Your Son :)

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"Where there is a dream, there is a way"- Unknown.

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