University of St. La Salle

#PassionWednesday ft. Jaquelyn Velez

In celebration of Indigenous People's Month, we delve into the story of Jaquelyn Rabe Velez, a fourth-year student majoring in Social Studies in the College of Education. Her journey is not just about pursuing knowledge but also about embracing a profound calling, connecting students with the world, and advocating for the cultural richness of the Ata people.

Jaquelyn's choice to pursue a degree in education was not merely a decision but a heartfelt calling. Her journey began with a deep admiration for teachers, those who embarked on the noble mission of educating, especially in remote areas. She recalls, "I was inspired by the happy faces and happy hearts of teachers in remote regions. Teaching, to me, is a vocation that reveals the profound meaning of life. It's about merging yourself into a mission that can show you how meaningful life can be."

Her decision to specialize in Social Studies was driven by her belief that teaching is not just about transmitting knowledge but also about connecting students to the world and instilling a sense of social responsibility. Jaquelyn aspires to shape young minds and hearts, nurturing them to become aware and compassionate individuals who care deeply for society.

Jaquelyn's passions extend far beyond the classroom. She's an advocate for various causes and programs aimed at helping others. Her involvement in “Lakbay Ata”, a College of Education initiative, showcases her commitment to strengthening the Ata people and preserving their unique culture. This advocacy is a testament to her dedication to making a tangible impact in her community.

In her spare time, Jaquelyn also finds solace in music. She enjoys singing and composing songs, which allows her to express her emotions and inspire others through the power of music. Additionally, she relishes spending quality time over coffee with friends, valuing the joy and connection that comes from meaningful conversations.

To students who may be at different stages of their educational journey, Jaquelyn offers these words of encouragement: "Never give up on a dream." She acknowledges the challenges that come with being a student, from the emotional toll to the mental struggles. However, she firmly believes that these obstacles are part of the growth process. Each setback is an opportunity to improve, and with improvement, success will follow. She urges students never to lose hope, for every effort, no matter how small, is a step closer to achieving their dreams.

Her dedication and unwavering commitment to society, the Ata community, and music are a testament to the profound impact one individual can have in enriching the lives of those around them. Jaquelyn is an embodiment of the message that, through education, advocacy, and passion, we can change the world, one heart and mind at a time.

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