Why this graduate is proudly holding a WALIS will warm your heart!

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To others the walis might seem like a commonplace household item, but for this working student, it helped him achieve his dreams.

Graduation photos mark an important milestone. In these portraits, students proudly wear their hard-earned togas and their brightest smiles. For graduating student Christopher Dahn Saliendra, what made it truly special was having something to symbolize all that he’s overcome to get to this point. 

To many, the walis might seem like a commonplace household item, but for the Quezon native, it means so much more than that. 

Viral graduation photo of student holding a walis is an inspiration to working students everywhere

After high school, Saliendra took a break for three years. During this time, he joined a band and worked as a seamster or mananahi.

In 2011, Saliendra was offered to study in Koronadal by an aunt. To help fund his studies, he started working as a janitor in Notre Dame of Marbel University, where he was also studying.

Later on, he was hired as an office personnel. But he was still tasked with keeping the office clean. 

After six years as a working student, he is finally graduating with a Bachelor in Secondary Education with a major in Mathematics. 

viral graduation photo

He posted his now viral graduation photo on March 18, a week before he is set to march and receive his diploma. As of this writing, the viral graduation photo has garnered over 12,000 comments and more than 30,000 shares on Facebook.

“Noong una ay nahihiya pang humawak ng walis,” he writes in the post. “Ngunit sa anim na taon ba namang pagsasama pati sa pictorial, aba’y akin nang isinama sapagkat kasama sya sa pagpupugay na ito.”

“Tiwala lang mga working students!” he writes, encouraging other working students to press on no matter what. 

The fourth of five siblings, Saliendra now plans to start reviewing for the licensure exam for teachers.

He admits in an interview with ABS-CBN News that he first posted the photo to make people laugh. However, someone messaged him to say that he should publicize his post because it could inspire others. 

We have no doubt he has truly inspired many young people out there to never give up on their dreams.

How you can motivate kids to love learning

While some kids have a natural love for studying, others might struggle with it. School psychologist Kate Roberts believes having a sense of purpose is the best way to motivate kids.

Though setting firm rules and lovingly pushing them to do better can work, Dr. Roberts believes nurturing their sense of purpose has lasting effects.

viral graduation photo

Motivating kids to love learning starts with cultivating a sense of purpose. | Photo: Dreamstime

If your little one needs a bit of encouragement to strive academically, here are some ways you can help them along.

1. Cultivate purpose through being a role model

Simply telling kids to be motivated is often not enough. They need to see how you live your life with motivation every single day. The value of hard work is something kids learn through looking up to mom and dad.

2. Reinforcing purpose through daily affirmations

Dr. Roberts writes in Psychology Today that parents can help children define purpose by clearly stating it. Make sure they know their goals and what specific actions they should do daily to reach these goals. 

3. Clarify how their purpose translates to concrete actions

Some kids might struggle with grasping just how their math homework translates to helping them achieve their dreams of one day becoming, say, a doctor. Tell them that doctors are good in math. No effort they put in today will ever go to waste, even if they decide to pursue a different path someday.

4. Take time to reflect and celebrate their achievements

In the process of encouraging them, it’s important to take time to look back at times when they showed grit. Praise their diligence, even for things as simple as chores.

Appreciating even the simplest of life skills teaches kids to value being hard-working beyond the classroom. To cultivate unwavering internal motivation requires patience, moms and dads!

Keep encouraging your little one, especially when they’re struggling. Soon enough, truly loving learning will come naturally!


Sources: ABS-CBN News, Psychology Today

READ THIS ALSO: School guard and dad of 3 graduates from school he guards with cum laude honors

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Written by

Bianchi Mendoza

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