I give to LA College Promise in honor of my parents, Fernando and Marina Diga, who taught me that education is empowering, transformative and a legacy to be passed.
Both my parents came from very poor, rural villages in the Philippines. As children, their financial means to receive a college education was slim to none. With the help of special benefactors in their lives, they were able to be the first in their families to receive college degrees. My father was the first in his small fishing village to ever receive a college degree. Later as a nurse and mechanical electrical engineer immigrating to and working in the United States, they both sent money back to the Philippines to put children in their villages through college. In turn, each recipient of their money would make a promise to send money back for others to become educated.
Now, their villages have multi-generational college graduates and working professionals in the areas of nursing, engineering and education. This has elevated the community. While it is said, "It takes a village to raise a child." My parents have proven that one or two well- educated children can return and raise a village." I keep this goal in mind when I give to the LA College Promise.