Almost every success story involves facing and overcoming challenges and difficulties in life. As the saying goes, no pain, no gain. The successful alumni that we are featuring have a fascinating view of success and challenges in life.

Our featured alumni is Engr. Arnel P. Rapisora. He was born to Mrs. Nelie Rapisora and Mr. Armando Rapisora on December 11, 1977, at Dilasag, Aurora. He is the eldest of four. He took up a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in our college. He graduated in March and passed his licensure exam, and got his license in November 1999. He is now in Canada managing his roofing company.

Engr. Arnel is one of the pioneering students of ASCOT. At an early age, he knows it in his heart that he wants to be an engineer. He always hears encouragement from his family and relatives about pursuing engineering. In our interview, he jokingly said he pursued engineering because he does not like talking too much. He continued by saying that in engineering, one only has to solve equations and problems without the. Though the school was not easy, he continued to push through because of his dream.

He emphasized the importance of having a dream. A dream is the beginning of everything—it is what guides and drives you as you traverse life. Even if there are opportunities and resources, if one has no dream, then nothing will happen. Therefore, one must actively work towards a goal. His desire to be a civil engineer is one of the things that motivated him to stay on track and finish his degree program.

Engr. Arnel shared that his inspiration is his mother. He has witnessed the challenges that she faced being a single mother. He has also seen the sacrifices that her mother made for them. This scenario moved him to strive his best to pass every semester. He does not want to go home to Dilasag and deliver news about failing grades. He kept in mind his goal to improve their family’s life.

Getting a diploma and passing the licensure exam did not guarantee immediate hiring. Engr. Arnel recognizes that there is a scarcity of opportunities in the country. More often than not, first-time job seekers need to have a “backer” to secure a job. Thus, when the opportunity to go abroad came, he grabbed it. He was attending Miracle Life Fellowship International, a Born Again Christian church. Coincidentally the husband of one of their churchmates owned a roofing company in Canada and was looking to hire Filipinos.

He did not let the chance slip away. He flew to Canada in 2004. From there, he worked his way up to where he is now. He started working diligently as a roofer for his churchmate. After five years, he decided to establish a Roofing Company of his own. He named it Sierrans Roofing Ltd; it is in Langley, British Columbia. He made a life for himself there. He gave his immediate family and relatives opportunities to come to Canada. He fulfilled his promise to his mother and their family and so much more.

Asked about what success is for him, he answered happiness. Several people define success with their material wealth and money, but for Engr. Arnel one can already be successful when one can be happy. The path to success is a rough road—full of challenges and hardships. Though for Engr. Arnel challenges and hardships are a normal part of life. He grew up experiencing challenges that it has become a norm to him. The things that those part of the middle class considers challenges are not a challenge for those who are in the laylayan. It is their reality. One must keep going.

He acknowledges the part that the college has played to get where he is today. He only has good words for his professors and the institution. He is grateful for equipping him with the necessary knowledge and skills to excel in his chosen field. He shared that the ASCOT family has shown genuine care during their time in ASCOT. He does not doubt that the college is still taking care and putting the best interest of the students first.

Even with his current level of success, Engr. Arnel still has dreams to realize. He wants to be a general contractor. He wants to expand his business. He also welcomes the idea of taking ASCOT students for OJT in the future.

To ASCOTians, he suggests that they identify their dream first before anything else. After all, our dreams motivate us. He reiterates the need to take risks, but not all risks. One must also be able to discern if the risk is worth taking or not. Also, decisiveness is needed. Without it, one might just let opportunities slide. Letting opportunities slide can cause one to be stagnant—no growth. One must also act towards one’s dream. They must be courageous enough to be out of their comfort zones.