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Valedictorian shares how MHSS helped him achieve academic and social fulfillment

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Jose Mayo Viray, Malayan High School of Science’s Class of 2012 valedictorian, shares that his high school life is a journey worth cherishing for a lifetime.

To many, high school is the best part of a person’s life. It is a time when one is so young, and there are so many things to learn; a time when every dream is a possibility. Well, Jose Mayo Viray, Malayan High School of Science’s (MHSS) Class of 2012 valedictorian, could not disagree with them. For him, “it was a fun and learning experience" and “a journey worth cherishing for a lifetime."

After graduating from grade school, all Mayo, as he is fondly called by his family and friends, wanted was to find a good high school and make good grades, until his parents enrolled him at MHSS. Never did he expect that he would achieve so many things in the next four years.

“I did plan to graduate with flying colors, but I never thought I would graduate as valedictorian," said Mayo. “Before I entered high school, I thought that achieving something this great would be impossible. But with the help of Malayan High School of Science, I realized that I can achieve anything I want as long as I put my heart and my mind in it."

However, like all other great things, his achievements came only with hard work and after surmounting several challenges. Describing how his high school life had been, he admitted that there was a bit of difficulty at the beginning.

Being an honor student in grade school, academics had never been a problem for Mayo. His diligence and dedication to learn had enabled him to earn very satisfactory to excellent marks in different subjects. But high school had a different kind of pressure on him academically. This made him re-evaluate his study methods.

“High school was very different. For me, one of the obstacles was time constraints. I adopted a different kind of study habit. I really studied hard and strived to finish all my school works as early as I could, but without forsaking excellence."

He shared that persistence is the key to his academic success.

“From the moment a lesson was introduced, I would always make sure that I understood all the essential concepts, so that at the end of each, I would be able to consolidate all I had learned into one notion that clearly showed the connections between all the concepts."

Such adjustment in Mayo’s study habits taught him the value of time and how to better manage his workload.

“It was when I needed to work with a limited amount of time that I became a better student and an achiever. I realized that there was a need for me to set priorities and to have the right timing for every task. It was having the right priorities and proper time management that allowed me to cope with my hectic schedule as a student, friend, leader, and achiever."

However, apart from the academics, there was the social problem with which he had to struggle more.

“In my first year, I experienced culture shock," Mayo recalled. “It was one of the hardest problems I encountered… I found it hard to present myself to other people."

For Mayo, this problem had caused him moments of insecurity and a feeling of being different and out of place. But with the help of the people around him, he was able to adapt to his new environment, open himself to more opportunities, and welcome new friendships.

“MHSS is a good ground for socialization. With the help of my teachers, schoolmates, and the school staff, I was able to [get out of] my comfort zone. I even ventured into things that I never imagined I would be doing."

Having the much needed confidence enabled him to achieve more beyond academics. Mayo found one of his passions in being of service to the school and his fellow schoolmates. He ran for a position in the student council and worked hard to become one of the officers of MHSS’s Citizen’s Army Training (CAT) unit.

“Two of what I consider as my greatest achievements in high school were my being a student leader and the CAT corps commander. It was through opportunities like these that MHSS allowed me to extend a helping hand to my schoolmates and to personally experience and uphold the school’s core values of discipline, excellence, commitment, integrity, and responsibility."

These achievements, he said, were what made his high school life more meaningful. There could be no greater source of fulfillment for Mayo than being able to recognize the beautiful things he has and learning how to share them with the people around him.

“To me, one of the most beautiful things MHSS has taught me is that there is no greater joy than giving joy to others, no greater inspiration than inspiring others, and no greater gift than being a gift to others."

MHSS principal Dr. Efren B. Mateo had believed from the start that great things were in store for Mayo in high school. He cited Mayo’s focus and commitment that enabled him to achieve more in the last four years. But despite his achievements, he had kept his feet on the ground, for which Dr. Mateo praises him more.

“It did not come as a surprise that Mayo is this year’s valedictorian. Since first year, he was consistently at the top of the class. He was focused on his studies. He knew his priorities. [But] despite being intelligent, he remained humble," said the principal.

Dr. Mateo tells his students that such accomplishments are never impossible as long as they work hard and never lose sight of their goals.

“To the younger students, you are capable of reaping academic success. Just study hard and focus on your goals," he advised.

Getting ready for his life in college as a pre-medicine student taking up Bachelor of Science in Public Health at University of the Philippines, Mayo feels grateful to have MHSS as his second home, equipping him for the future he envisions for himself to have and, more importantly, for nurturing his character toward becoming a better person.

“At MHSS, I realized that life is not about finding yourself. Rather, it is about building yourself. Indeed, MHSS did not only prepare me academically but also prepared me for all the things I may experience in college with its holistic approach in developing students."

He continued: “I’m certain that only MHSS could give me all the experiences and opportunities I had in high school. The diverse personalities I encountered here make my high school life a story worth telling my future children. MHSS gave me an experience of a lifetime."

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