The inspiring story of a homeless girl in the Philippines who recently finished her college education is now making the rounds on social media and warming the hearts of thousands of Filipino netizens.
Rodallie Mosende grew up as a child beggar on impoverished Paterno Street in Quiapo, Manila and survived by getting scraps of food from strangers and meat and vegetables from market vendors, reported GMA News.
Mosende’s life took a turn in 2011, however, when she met Rick Rocamora, an award-winning activist photographer who was documenting the lives of homeless people in the city at the time.
Her drive and motivation to graduate from high school touched Rocamora, who covered her life story through photographs and later shared them via social media.
Rocamora’s photographs of Mosende drew attention to her plight and inspired people on social media to extend help. One anonymous benefactor who was impressed by her perseverance began giving her a monthly allowance and financed her education.
Although a busy student, Mosende found time to sometimes tutor kids and even worked as a city street sweeper so she could pay for food and transportation.
Just two weeks ago, Mosende graduated with a degree in international hospitality management from the Lyceum University of the Philippines, a feat she thought was impossible a few years back.
In a video shared by Rocamora, Mosende expressed her appreciation for all the support she received through the years.
“Thank you for giving me the opportunity to study,” she said. “I hope someday, I can repay all of you.”