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Youssry L.

Jaranilla BSN-IVA

How has the Ateneo de Zamboanga University helped in your personal growth and development? Every bit of values and teachings that the Ateneo de Zamboanga University has taught me for the past 15 years is very essential of what I am right now. Every moment, every experience, every person I have encountered in this school molded me into a person I am today. All of those things are significant parts that transform my character into something that is rooted to the Ignatian way of living life which I am very grateful of today. As true blue blooded Atenean student, still on the process of preparing myself for a better future, Ateneo has already helped me in various ways specifically on helping me to internalize the true meaning of excellence, spirituality and service. In thirst for excellence, the Ateneo taught me to always strive for it. Not just to act it but to make it a habit. In early days, I was blinded in the idea that its all about getting on top, being number one in class, and being champion in any event are the one that matters most. I didnt know that time that this idea was only superficial part of what excellence is. I am a hardworking athlete and at the same time a consistent honor student. I know the importance of getting on top of everyone; I know the splendor feeling of it. But these things were not the one that really taught me the true value of excellence. Actually, its my failure in class and in sports that help me realized the true measure of it, that its not all about the end results. Instead, it is the journey Ive gone through; the commitment, the attitude and determination in achieving certain things in life are the things that count the most. In discerning spirituality, the Ateneo showed me that they are not just a simple catholic university by name. They are a true catholic university who upholds the teachings of Christ and His Father through leading by example. Im a Muslim student, but I witnessed how Ateneo warmly welcome new students especially students coming from different walks of life and how they seriously practiced their faith. I also truly appreciate how they respect and give justice to everyone where it reach to the point that they built a prayer room for us and allowed us to take an Islamic studies as our RS subject. In this way, they helped me and other students to practice our faith, to enhance our spiritual facet of life, and to be culturally sensitive with others. Moreover, they helped me understand how all individuals are similar. Despite of differences in character traits and cultures, they taught us that our basic human desires are quite the same, which makes our living in the same community possible. Hence, they made me realized that by living together, our similarities will help us bridge all other gaps, such as language and cultural differences. In committing to service, the Ateneo planted the Ignatian values in my mind and in my heart. The calling to be men and women for others is not just beautiful phrases, but rather a touch at the very core of my commitment towards service and common good. Im a SACSI Volunteer and as a volunteer I realized that this phrase above goes far beyond simple community service work. Because this phrase is focused on a central value of love for others and calls us to understand other peoples and cultures as well as to be with the people with whom we are called to serve. Alas! Graduation is fast approaching, and Im very thankful to what the Ateneo had done to me. The application of their teachings doesnt stop here but it will continue to spread to where my journey will take me. Now, Im totally a different person. All of what I encountered, from those people I just bump onto to the accomplishments I have achieved in life, are part of what I am today. I have learned to be responsible, to prioritize things, to strive for excellence, to fight for what I believe, to treasure what I have, to serve, to strengthen my faith in God, and to be a better person. I can now walk with pride and honor and my journey goes on.

Youssry L. Jaranilla BSN-IVA