Carlo Avorque, a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Management student, marched as the valedictorian of 354 graduates of the VSU Alang-alang campus, during its 42nd Commencement Exercises, March 15.

With a GPA of 1.45, Avorque led 11 students who graduated cum laude this year.

Avorque said he feels humbled to graduate as this year’s top student. A son of a housekeeper, Avorque did not think of his family’s poverty as a hindrance to graduate. Instead, he made it as a motivation to rise from all the failures and challenges in his journey as a college student.

“Make your family and your situation an inspiration to do more,” said Avorque.

Meanwhile, Imelda Laceras, director of the Department of Budget Management-Region VIII emphasized to the graduates that the road to success is not easy.

In her speech as commencement speaker, Laceras recalled her struggles, sacrifices, and experiences after her graduation and shared the lessons she learned then.

“The definition of success is relative. You should not compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on yourself and what you can do to others,” said Laceras.

As a takeaway message, Laceras reminded the graduates that the key to success requires “determination, right attitude, gratitude and hard work.”

The VSU Alang-alang campus is led by Dean Marichu Padayao. It offers programs in Environmental Management, Secondary Education, Elementary Education, Agricultural Technology, and Diploma in Agricultural Technology.