WITH the advent of technology, one action could change one’s fate.

Several doors opened for Gerald Tamayo, a 10-year-old kid asking for alms along Dapitan street, when a video showing how he solves Mathematical equations given by the College of Commerce and Business Administration students went viral.

Chelsea Luzanta, the marketing student who took the video of Gerald, did not expect the video would be a hit. 

“He said that he’s good in math so we asked him questions to test his skills and surprisingly, he got it all right,” Chelsea shared.

The night she uploaded the video on her Facebook timeline, Chelsea was surprised by the overwhelmingly positive response. 

“The day after uploading the video, we were very surprised because we didn’t have any motive why we uploaded it, we were just amazed by his skills and apparently, many people seem to agree,” she said.

His video has touched the hearts of many. 

“Gerald made me realize the value of education. Gerald made me appreciate education because not everyone is given a privilege to study,” CJ Bisig commented.

The Dapitan math whiz learned the fast way of solving equations through a group of Civil Engineering students from the University by teaching him do the arithmetic.

Stepping into the street life

Gerald’s inspiring story was featured in GMA Network’s “Wish Ko Lang.” He stays with his grandmother and his two siblings. Their mother had gone away. 

The poverty that put to rest boundless dreams of people was the same poverty that made the kid drop out of school.

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“Natigil po ako sa pag-aaral kasi nabasa po ‘yong libro ko kasi wala kaming bahay kasi walang pakialam sa amin mama ko,” he said. “Umiyak nga po ako kasi hindi ako makapag-aral. Naiingit ako sa ibang tao kasi sana grade four na ako.”

Living in the streets, Gerald’s means of earning money is to sell sashes of sampaguita. However, he does this with a twist—he shows off his math prowess so that he could convince his customers to buy the flowers.

Despite his situation, Gerald’s hope never wavered and still continues to hold on to his dreams.

“Gusto ko pong makatulong sa lola ko. Gusto ko pong maging engineer.”

‘The Gerald Project’

Alicia Ngipen, an alumna of the University and a daughter of the founder of Aster DM Healthcare-Philippines, granted Gerald with a college scholarship at the University to study Civil Engineering in the future. Furthermore, the company will also give Gerald monthly allowance so that he could finish his elementary and secondary school.

Born from the core of an inspiring story, The Gerald Project, spearheaded by the marketing students, aims to help Gerald by selling loom bands to her block mates and give the proceeds to the kid.

The accomplishment of The Gerald Project sparked a larger idea for these students. Their goal is to send out-of-school youths to schools by focusing on one child at a time.

“We are going to start with Gerald and then when he can now be independent, we will proceed to another child,” Mhoe Murillo, one of the marketing students, said.

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Through these helping hands, Gerald is given a chance to actualize his dream of becoming a Civil Engineer.

“Whenever I see Gerald with a smile on his face you would realize how much you take things for granted. He really made me realize how to be appreciative and thankful,” Mhoe said.

Truly, Gerald Tamayo’s story is a ray of hope for everyone.

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