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True Grit: A Story of Resilience

In college Alida Camo became commander of the ROTC unit. This photo shows her with members of the unit. But her journey began years earlier, in 2011, when she received her first BELIEVE scholarship.

Alida Camo was 13 years old when she became a BELIEVE scholar in 2011. This picture was taken in front of her home with her mother and brother. Sadly, her mother died the next year, and she was left with just her father and younger brother.

Home destroyed by a typhoon

Two years later their home was destroyed by a typhoon. It was replaced by this pile of rusted sheet metal, which was the best they could afford.

In spite of these challenges, with the help of BELIEVE International she graduated as the valedictorian of her class.

In college, Alida became commander of the ROTC unit

Alida continued her BELIEVE scholarship into college. Because of the challenges in her life, she had to be a fighter to survive. So, when she went to college, she entered the ROTC program. She wanted to explore an experience that would make her a strong individual and boost her self-confidence and discipline. Due to her drive and discipline, she became the Commander of the Unit, shown here with three of her subordinates.

In college, while she was studying to become a teacher, she helped with the BELIEVE program in her high school. In the photo below, she is teaching the BELIEVE Values to the scholars in one of the monthly workshops.

Graduated from college with a BS in Education

Alida graduated from college with a BS in Education in the spring of 2020. She was hoping to immediately take her licensure exam to become a professional teacher, but the pandemic delayed that opportunity. This is her graduation photo, with her father and younger brother.

Her house destroyed - again

While she was in college, her father had upgraded their home. And then, in October 2020, super typhoon Rolly destroyed their house. This is all that remained.

The mark of a truly resilient person

When asked about the impact of this disaster, Alida said "I am not in a good condition because of my situation right now. Our house was destroyed by the typhoon, and I don't know how to start building it again, but I have to be positive with it because I know it's unexpected happenings. I have to be strong despite of what happened. ... It is my strength to continue in life, and I am striving hard to reach my goals to raise us up from poverty." And, with a little help from others, Alida began rebuilding her house.

In spite of all her adversity, Alida has never given up hope to achieve a better life. Her resiliency and grit are truly inspiring.


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