I was forged by fire – the fire of learning.
The flame was first kindled during my years in Woodrose, an Opus Dei school. I was educated to believe that work was meant to be sanctified and that for work to become truly good, it must be done for God. I understood good work to be helping oneself and others become instruments of God’s purpose. Good work was and still is all about honing one’s skills and talents so that one may contribute to the bigger picture – the world.
My work back then was learning from my classes and my experiences and then applying my learnings in helping others with their academic life and their personal life. I was the go-to tutor for Filipino and Science. I was the on-call friend for meaningful advice. It was these small pockets of experiences with others that made me feel that I had a natural connection with people, so I thought taking a management course in college was the right thing to do.
I entered the Ateneo in 2010 and still, the learning continued. I learned Magis and Cura Personalis and I found that these values were much very much my own even before my stay here began. Still, I maintained my high standards in academics and I found myself again wanted as a tutor and at times, a friend. I was the all-around helper until I graduated and I thought I was sure of the future I wanted. As graduation drew closer, I found myself at a crossroads. Did I really want to climb up the corporate ladder or did I want to work closer to people and create direct impact?
I picked the latter. From 2014 to 2016, I worked in the Ateneo Business Resource Center and I taught under the Leadership and Strategy Department of the John Gokongwei School of Management. In more roles as a business development officer and as an educator, I came to realize my passion in helping people becoming the best they could possibly be. In the center, I was able to train students and small enterprise owners in enterprise development. In the classroom, I was able to teach students the value of their own talents and they can use these talents to pursue purpose-driven work in school and beyond.
After my work in Ateneo, I realized that I needed more knowledge and skills to fulfill my own purpose, so I applied for graduate studies and for a job under YapVC. At present, I’m taking an MA in Organizational Psychology in Ateneo and I’m working to build Ignite Founders.
Back in highschool, I had a friend who joked about me becoming a teacher. I laughed and I said that it wasn’t a glamorous profession, so it wasn’t for me. Four years after that conversation, I found myself not looking for the glamor, but for the fulfillment of helping others in Ateneo.
I will continue to look for this fulfillment in every Founder and I hope to forge them in the fire of not only learning but also of service to others.
– Audrey B. Arayata, Executive Director