No End to Saha’s Ladder of Success

Sahanudin Benito Pumbaya, a former scholarship grantee of the Expanded Students’ Grant-In-Aid Program for Poverty Alleviation (ESGP-PA), is the son of 4Ps household beneficiaries from Barangay Kabaniakawan, Kapatagan, Lanao del Sur. The 6th of eight (8) children, Sahanudin was one of the lucky ones to be granted full scholarship benefits to any state university or college in ARMM.

When he was a toddler, Saha fell down a 9-foot flight of stairs that affected the growth and development of his legbones. Their lack of financial assistance and the unavailability of a nearby hospital did not make life easy for him.

Growing up and attending school was both physically and emotionally challenging for Saha. Social events were difficult due to the logistics of moving around. He was ridiculed for his size and disability but instead of letting these challenges affect him, he made them opportunities to propel him to improve the other aspects of his life.
Saha got into Mindanao State University-Maguindanao Campus and as they say, fortune never stops for those who work hard for it. One blessing came in the form of his application for a grant from the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program’s (4Ps) student-grantees of the ESGP-PA. In the year 2016, Saha finally earned his Bachelor of Science in Public Administration degree.

Only four months after graduation, Saha came full circle and went to work with the agency that offered him a grant for his university education. He now works for the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – ARMM as an information desk officer, the agency that served as one of the major avenues for his scholarship.

At the moment, he is pursuing a post-graduate degree at the same university and is expected to finish next year. He still plans to be a lawyer after earning his Masters. For Saha, “imagination is NOT a place of unrealistic dreams. It is a place to come up with ideas that will move one forward.”

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