Son of a poor farmer now studying in Harvard University
As of 2018, about 3.6 million were out of school youth [PSA]. The poorest are the farmers, and for someone like Romnick Blanco to dream of stepping to an International School is ridiculous – but he chose to believe.
Of course he is not alone. The Philippines blessed by international grants, such as SEALYP where another farmer’s daughter from Mindanao, Harisha Pangadil was able to get a scholarship at an Illinois University.
Romnick was born in 1997. He has eight siblings and lives at the foothills of Sierra Madre, Bulacan. To go to school, he had to walk miles on foot while under the heat of the sun, something familiar in the rural areas of the Philippines.
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Green Earth Heritage
His opportunity began with a local Christian foundation. Romnick was one of the few who qualified for assisted schooling in Green Earth. The foundation helps the impoverished children of farmers by providing the ancillary costs of public education, mainly free access to English and computer literacy classes.
Green Earth leaders saw Blanco’s dedication outpacing other farmers in speaking English. Romnick was trained further to compete for a scholarship at a prestigious High School in Makati.
International School Manila
In 2012, he became the first farmer’s child to win a full-tuition scholarship at the International School Manila (ISM) for the first time in 92 years. After graduating, Romnick qualified for a college scholarship grant in 2017 for an Ivy League school of his choice.
He was accepted at Dartmouth College, Wesleyan University, and New York University Abu Dhabi, but chose Harvard University in Massachusetts, USA.
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TEDx “The Four Blood Brothers”
His story reached the TEDx British School Manila, where he narrated the story of the ‘Four Blood Brothers.’ He related the parable to Luke 12:48, where he was actually referring to himself as someone who has been given much, thus much is required.
His story centered on Blood Brother No. 4, who embarked on a different journey but whose success was because he transformed his mind. “He refused to be like the others, and he listened to his school teacher who always reminded him that poverty should never be a hindrance,” says Romnick.
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“To set one’s mind on a goal is just the beginning, but the journey ahead is long and difficult… it requires passion, perseverance, faith, and, most importantly, not in one’s self but God.” He said all these while the verse Proverbs 3:5 was in full view of students and teachers.
He told the audience that Blood Brother No. 4 trusted in the Lord with all his heart, leaned not on his own understanding, and so God directed his path. He discussed what our mindset
How do we become transformed?
His speech focused on the word ‘transformation’ and said that “transformation is not a one-time event; it is a continuous process that goes on through life.”
Then Romnick posed a question, “But how does one get transformed?. I wanted to find the best answers, and I got the answer from the Bible,” he said. The screen flashes with Romans 12:2, and he continued to say, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.”
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Like a young preacher, he caps the story with Philippians 4:8 and tells the audience to fill their thoughts with whatever is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely, and admirable. “Dwell on these things,” he said.
This kid is just awesome!