By Liwayway Yparraguirre
A Grade 12 student of the Dagupan City National High School (DCNHS), adjudged the third Most Outstanding Campus Journalist in the recent National Schools Press Conference (NSPC), is encouraging her fellow youths to be contributors to the society.
“Your age doesn’t define what you can contribute and it should not limit how much you can share to other people. I hope I can inspire, even just one child, to take a great role or make a great change in our society. In a way, I think I’ve fulfilled my role as a student dreaming something beautiful for Dagupan,” said Francine Beatriz Pradez, winner of the recent NSPC and National Festivals of Talent (NFOT) held in Dagupan City and Lingayen, Pangasinan, respectively.
Pradez is a debater, a writer, a bemedalled girl scout, and active member of several advocacy groups.
“I noticed when I started joining advocacy groups, in the Girl Scout of the Philippines, in volunteering in Philippine Red Cross, that one of the things why students don’t normally succeed at this age is because there is limited chance for opportunities. If we open that door towards opportunities for them, there is greater chance for them to succeed at whatever age they are in,” she added.
The senior high student grabbed both opportunities to join the NSPC and NFOT, which were simultaneously held in the province on January 29 to 31 (NFOT) and January 28 to February 1 (NSPC).
Pradez noted the challenges she faced as a participant in both national events.
“Competing against students from different regions in the NFOT and NSPC, in a certain way, there was a little pressure. But it was also very challenging considering the diversity. You have to be emotionally prepared, strong enough to face not only the panel of judges, but also the best campus journalists in the country,” she further said.
Pradez was also awarded fourth place in the PopDev (population and development) roundtable argumentation and debate in the NFOT.
“This is my last year to compete in any competition. When I won, the feeling is overwhelming. But in a way, it is empowering because I know I did it not for myself but for all the campus journalists and debaters and for all students of Region 1 (Ilocos),” she said.
She admitted that it brought her joy knowing that she was the first Dagupeña to win the outstanding campus journalist award.
Pradez is graduating from senior high school, and she said that the award is a perfect year-ender for her.
She will be studying at De La Salle University, and is planning to take up Bachelor of Science in Legal Management, or Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, major in European Studies. (PNA)