Keep moving forward: EDSP scholar graduates as magna cum laude
Hannah, eldest of the 3 siblings to Roger R. Dimapilis, an Architect in Saudi Arabia, and Imelda R. Dimapilis, a Telephone Operator also in Saudi Arabia, graduated as Magna Cum Laude with a degree in Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing at the University of the Philippines – Diliman on June 30, 2019.
Since she was 3, Hannah and her family have stayed in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia since both of her parents work there. She, together with her sisters, came back to the Philippines in 2014 to continue their studies.
During her first year, she could not help but feel homesick as she was away from her family. She also had a lot of adjustments to make as she grew up in a different culture and was not used to speak in Filipino. She had a hard time maintaining a close relationship with her family and communicating with them due to their hectic schedules.
Hannah together with her family during one of their trips
Ever since she was in High School, Hannah already loved writing short stories as well as reading books. Some of the books she read inspired her and made her pursue her degree.
During her entire college journey, she considers time management and socializing with different kinds of people as her biggest challenges as she had extracurricular activities aside from her academic workload. She was also an introvert so she often had problems communicating with other people but all those challenges helped her to become better and more disciplined. For Hannah, the groups she joined helped her develop practical skills that are needed in finding a job.
Hannah was a consistent college/university scholar and was also a member of the Phi Kappa Phi, an academic society based in the United States of America and its members are limited to students who are ranked as top of their class. She was also the 1st runner up at the Graphic Shakespeare Competition, an international comics competition held every 2 years and she was also a nominee at the Kumiket Awards in 2018 where her first comics got published.
At first, Hannah was not aware of the EDSP. She was able to know about the program when their school required them to take the qualifying exam. She was very grateful to become a scholar as it allowed her to explore other creative avenues and helped her to strive harder as she had to maintain her grades while balancing her extracurricular activities.
She also gave advice to other OWWA scholars, “When you feel lost or rejected, try to keep moving forward. Take the little steps that will help you get through the day, month, semester and before you know it, you are already graduating.” She also encouraged them to submit their monthly reports as it helps them reflect on their past actions and helps them practice discipline."