Single Mom Who Spent 7 Years in College, Topnotcher in Board Exams

A single mom who spent 7 years in college earned admiration after becoming a topnotcher in the board exams despite the struggles and challenges she faced while in school.

Single Mom Wows after Becoming Board Exam Topnotcher

It’s true that so many young women had to quit school and forget about their dreams due to an unexpected pregnancy. It becomes more difficult when the child’s father doesn’t support them, so they end up as single moms.

Sadly, single moms have it worse.

That’s what happened to Paola Mariz P. Cero, 30, of Southern Leyte.

single mom
Photo credit: PEP

I was supposed to graduate in 2012, but due to some circumstances in the past, I got pregnant. I am a solo parent to my 10-year-old son,” she recalled.

I was in my third year of nursing at one of the universities in Cebu when I stopped.

She didn’t want to detail what happened, but she had to raise her son on her own. Like many single moms, she thought that it was the end of her dream.

I became a full-time mother to my son, until such time I realized that it’s never too late to try and start achieving my dream again,” Paola told PEP.

She returned to school.

At first, she was worried that she might be the oldest in class and that she might not be able to catch up on the lessons. But those were unfounded.

single mom
Photo credit: PEP

She wasn’t the oldest in class – and their clinical instructors were supportive.

But we are very fortunate that all our clinical instructors are very dedicated to their work in molding us and helping us to become competent nurses someday,” she recounted.

They motivated us to become the caring, nurturing people we were trained to be, and for reminding us of the responsibilities and rewards of our profession that will help us move forward in the future.”

She was finally able to complete her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of Maasin in 2021; though their graduation was pushed to February 2022 due to the pandemic.

Struggles during the Review

She faced more challenges during the review for the board exams because it was done online.

Isa rin sa cons ng online review ay yung maraming distractions, like, yung ingay sa labas ng bahay or yung mate-tempt ka na matulog sa bed kasi naka-off din naman yung cam during the live discussions,” she admitted.

Thankfully, she managed to pull through.

single mom
Photo credit: PEP

But she didn’t actually expect to be among the topnotchers, yet she ranked in the ninth place.

Never in my wildest dreams po talaga! Ang tanging ipinagdarasal ko ay sana pumasa kaming lahat ng kaklase ko kasi pag may hindi pumasa, hindi rin lubos yung saya ko,” she shared.

She dedicates her success to her son and her parents.

Paola now works as a nurse in a private hospital in Southern Leyte, but like other Filipino nurses, she also hopes to go abroad for her family’s future.