Beating the Odds: Young Single Mom Tops Graduation

Confucius once said, “Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.”

 Zsarra Liez Sinsuan is a living testament that downfalls serve as wake-up calls to rethink and reprioritize our goals.

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 Despite the difficult circumstances she had to endure during her teenage years, Zsarra – a single mother from Zamboanga City – has already taken the first step towards realizing her dreams when she finished Junior High School in April 2018 through the Department of Education’s (DepEd) Alternative Learning System (ALS).

 Zsarra became a mother at such a young age. At 16, she is already taking care of her two kids, which forced her to drop out of high school. Her vision of a happy family vanished when her husband started to hurt her physically. This eventually led to their separation.

 Together with her children, Zsarra had to transfer from one barangay to another. They even travelled to Manila, where she had to work as a cashier to provide for her children and keep them safe from the threats of her husband.

 Worrying about her kids’ future, Zsarra thought of enrolling herself to a regular class but changed her mind because she felt too old for it. She was also afraid that she might end up dropping out again.

 It was in 2016 when she found out about ALS. The program made her realize that age, indeed, does not matter, as long as you are willing to learn and are eager to reach your goals in life.

 “ALS is like good news that assures the establishment of my path towards the fulfillment of my dreams. Although this is just the first step in the ladder of education, still, it is a step in the right direction,” Zsara shared.

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 All her hard work paid off when she passed the 2017 ALS Accreditation and Equivalency (A&E) Test. In her speech during their graduation, Zsara did not forget to thank the people behind the program: 

 “We are more than happy and grateful for the people behind our success, our ALS implementers, and the local government unit for giving us the necessary support in establishing our road to success.”

 “I thank the Department of Education for coming up with a program that gives hope to hopeless individuals. This is a concrete response to the pressing need to grant dropouts and school leavers with a second chance in life regardless of their age,” she concluded. 



The Department of Education (DepEd) formulates, implements, and coordinates policies, plans, programs and projects in the areas of formal and non-formal basic education. It supervises all elementary and secondary education institutions, including alternative learning systems, both public and private; and provides for the establishment and maintenance of a complete, adequate, and integrated system of basic education relevant to the goals of national development.


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