Being raised with good moral and fear of- God is one of the precious gifts a child could have. Zenaida considered herself fortunate to be raised well and belong to an ideal family.

Being young, Zenaida enjoyed her youth through going to school and study as best as she could. She is one of the best students from her class. She blooms and shines in her own way. However, as a teenager she became curious and learned to frequently hang-out with her friends who unfortunately led her to a broken road. She became one of “errand girls” and worked for some syndicate. She, dropped out of school, engaged to various vices, entered into unwanted relationships. She started to walk away to the ideal life that everybody wants to be into.

On February 2, 2018, Zenaida got arrested and charged of RA 9165 or the Dangerous Drugs Act and the violation of RA 9208 or the Anti- Trafficking in Persons Act; she was sheltered in Mnila Youth Reception Center (MYRC) for one year and transferred to Marillac Hills under suspended sentence on February 28, 2019.

Zenaida had turned 18 years old and still under the care and guidance of Marillac Hills. She showed improvement and was recognized for her leadership ability. She was also elected as one of the “Character Coaches” in their dormitory and the President of the center’s Children Participation Council (CPC).

Many of her guardians inside the center noticed her positive response to the program for her rehabilitation. She even passed the Accreditation and Equivalency Test which helped her to be accelerated to Senior High School. Unfortunately, due to the minimal manpower for Grade 11 teachers, she was unable to continue her formal school but it never hindered her from studying and pursuing her dream.  She keeps on reading books, writing and even providing tutorial lessons to some of her fellow residents.

Last November 27, 2019, Zenaida showcased her talent in poetry writing and fortunately won the first prize within the National Capital Region Level which made her  the representative on the poetry contest last November 29, 2019. Through Zenaida’s hard work and determination, she was hailed champion for the Regional Juvenile Justice Welfare Council (RJJWC) Spoken Word Contest. She was awarded with cash prize, medal and Certificate of Recognition.

On March 4, 2020, Marillac Hills requested the Honorable Court of Justice to dismiss and terminate the case filed against Zenaida. While waiting for the court’s decision, she is also waiting and hoping for a favorable result of her Parenting Capability Assessment Report (PCAR) needed for her discharge from the center.

Zenaida expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped her achieve her dreams and become a better version of herself. She learned the Values formation and employable skills in Therapeutic Massage, Table Skirting, Housekeeping and Barista which give her the chance to be admitted as OJT at Cummins Philippines INC based in Biñan Laguna.

Hindi hadlang ang kahapon para sa panibangong pangarap. Tayo ay bumangon at magsimula ng panibago. Ako Ikaw, at Sila para sa bayan!.” Zenaida stated as she wanted to advocate second chances by sharing her experiences and inspiring others that despite the adversities, everyone has the capacity to change and become a better version of themselves. ###

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